Writ­ten in 1964 by Ar­gen­tini­an Ariel Ramírez, Misa Cri­ol­la is the Mass in Span­ish set to mu­sic with a sound and struc­ture that com­bines sev­er­al in­dige­nous styles. You know those buskers that set up in pub­lic mar­kets ev­ery­where in col­or­ful South-American out­fits with gi­ant Pan-pipes and gui­tars both huge and tiny? That style of mu­sic. Misa Cri­ol­la is great stuff, sold a zil­lion copies back there, and I can’t imag­ine any­one not lik­ing it.

It’s is a lit­tle over twen­ty min­utes long, but ev­ery minute is worth hear­ing. To bring it in­to Song of the Day ter­ri­to­ry, I’m rec­om­mend­ing the sec­ond move­men­t, Glo­ria, which is the cen­ter of the piece and is well un­der ten min­utes. It’s a show­piece, with a flashy in­stru­men­tal in­tro and lots of big notes for the soloist. Lead­ing with it is a lit­tle bit wrong, be­cause the Glo­ria works bet­ter when you’ve just lis­tened to the serene, ef­fort­less Kyrie that pre­cedes it. So if you like it, go back and lis­ten to the whole thing all the way through.

The text of the Kyrie is just Señor, ten piedad de nosotros over and over. There are more words to the Glo­ria, but it keeps com­ing back over and over again to Paz a los hom­bres, a mes­sage we can all get be­hind.

Back in the day when peo­ple who liked mu­sic bought it on al­bum­s, peo­ple who liked Misa Cri­ol­la usu­al­ly had two; one fea­tur­ing Mercedes Sosa, an Ar­gen­tinean folk-singer; and an­oth­er fea­tur­ing José Car­reras. Back in 2007 I wrote a whole blog piece con­trast­ing the two ver­sion­s. Sit­ting in front of the big stereo with the lights low, I’ll go with Jose be­cause the sound is exquisite and his pi­anis­si­mo is like float­ing gold. But driv­ing in the car or lis­ten­ing on head­phones while com­mut­ing, Mercedes ev­ery time, be­cause she flows through the mu­sic like wa­ter.

Mercedes Sosa
· · ·
José Carreras

This is part of the Song of the Day se­ries (back­ground).

Links · Spo­ti­fy playlist. Mercedes on Ama­zon; can’t find her on iTunes or Spo­ti­fy. Jose on iTunes, Ama­zon, Spo­ti­fy. As for live video, here’s Mercedes; not in as good voice as on the record­ing but still a stir­ring per­for­mance. And here’s an­oth­er that’s worth watch­ing: a live 2014 per­for­mance in Saint Peter’s basil­i­ca in the Vat­i­can fea­tur­ing a wom­an named Pa­tri­cia Sosa whom re­search re­veals is, (a) Ar­gen­tinean, (b) no re­la­tion to Mercedes Sosa, and (c) for­mer­ly a heavy-metal singer. I think she’s awe­some.


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From: Tim Danner (Apr 17 2018, at 11:02)

Misa Criolla recorded by Mercedes Sosa may be missing on the Canadian iTunes, but US Apple Music does have it: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/misa-criolla/414839095


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April 16, 2018
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