Karen Young’s Missa Campanula

Missa CampanulaThere is perhaps no musical instrument more beautiful than the human voice. And when many voices are brought together in choir, it is music’s finest hour. Montreal’s Karen Young has just dropped a remarkable album of classical music entitled Missa Campanula. It was just last month that she gave us You Make Me Feel So Young, a jazz album, a genre for which she previously attracted a JUNO nomination. Karen has released 10 albums under her own record label, Ursh.

Young considers Missa Campanula her most important work. It is an album of original compositions, sung in sacred style, a cappella, in Latin, by a choir, and is dedicated to her mother who died of Alzheimer disease. The vocal latticework was accomplished by a tiered foundation choir of sopranos, altos, tenors, and basses interplaying with a solo quintet while Karen joins two others in the treble choir. The overall performance was conducted by François Ouimet.

notre dame de bon secours chapel

Karen composed the songs over a five-year period as both a thank you to her mother and helping her cope with the tragic deterioration in health due to Alzheimer’s. The full-blown mass was recorded in Old Montreal at the Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel. Karen says they could discern her mother’s “approval in the imperceptible tinkling of the glass chandeliers in the silence after each song.”  iTunes