A Mass of Life

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A Mass of Life (German: Eine Messe des Lebens) is a piece of choral music by English composer Frederick Delius, based on the German text of Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophical novel Thus Spoke Zarathustra.[1] In 1898, Delius had written a male choir and orchestral setting of "Midnight Song" from the same work, and this was revised to form part of the Mass.[1]

A Mass of Life is the largest of Delius's concert works, written for four SATB soloists, double choir and orchestra.[1] It was dedicated to Fritz Cassirer, who had had an important hand in choosing the passages from Nietzsche's text.

The work was completed in 1905. Part 2 was first performed in Munich in 1908, with a complete performance in London a year later.[1] The conductor for this performance was Thomas Beecham.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Kennedy, Michael (ed.). "Mass of Life, A". The Oxford Dictionary of Music (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. 

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