The Jazz Mass is undeniably a pivotal composition in the work of Jaromír Hnilička. The original version was created in 1969. Hnilička created the Kyrie eleison, to major acclaim, and he was consequently approached by the German record company Saba to compose an entire mass. It was recorded the same year. Later, after the change of the liturgy, it underwent further adjustments. In the following years, further modifications and additions were made to some parts. The Mass was a major success in Western Europe and in the Vatican in the 1970s. In 1972, Hnilička received a letter of thanks from the Società Italiana Musica Contemporanea, which appreciated the work with great interest and asked the author for permission to keep the score in the Vatican Library.
A new impetus came in 2007, when, at the request of the B-Side Band trumpet player and bandleader Josef Buchta, Hnilička reopened the work, expanded it to include a chamber orchestra and added several new choral parts. This resulted in a new work, full of innovative colors and a more powerful sound. The renewed Jazz Mass had its world premiere on September 28, 2008 in the Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Brno. The reception by the audiences was very warm. Since then, it has been regularly performed at concerts and is considered a “Brno family jewel,” a composition of international significance.
In 2012, the Mass represented the city of Brno in Leipzig, Germany, on the occasion of the 800th anniversary of the Thomaskirche and the 40th anniversary of the partnership between the cities of Brno and Leipzig.
The album you are looking at now is the first studio recording of the final expanded version of the Jazz Mass. It is the result of 12 years of intensive work by Josef Buchta, for whom it represents one of his life goals fulfilled.