I suppose it was predictable that what is surely the world's most successful rock work, the musical Hair, should also have a go at the religious market with a curiously hodge-podge recording called Divine Hair - Mass in F (RCA Victor). the disk actually documents a celebration of the third anniversary of hair held at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. The idea was simple enough - a celebration of the Holy Eucharist in which the musical settings consisted of selections from hair and a new work by hair composer galt MacDermot, Mass in F.
Apparently, you had to be there to get the full flavor.
The recording, like the "live" broadcast (in May of 1971) is notable
principally as yet another reprise of the familiar Hair melodies.
MacDermot's "Mass In F" is an almost totally anonymous work that comes
across as little more than rhythmic vamps and some fairly predictable pop
harmonies. Clearly, the anti-war sentiments expressed, the sense
of togetherness, the feeling of being present at a special occasion in
New York City's liberal/cultural life gives the performance a buoyancy
it might not otherwise have had. But the answer to the question of
whether or not galt MacDermot has found the liturgy a visible arena for
musical expression must be in the negative.
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