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A Pentatonic Kyrie (Christoph Dalitz, 1990)

The acclamation "Kyrie eleison" in the mass liturgy can not only be understood as a prayer for mercy, but as well as a praise of the Lord and his mercy. This setting is meant in the latter sense, as becomes particularly clear in the archaic tonality (pentatonic lines, "empty" chords) of the two "Kyrie" sections.

The "Christe" section uses a different tonality (more thirds in accords, chromatically raised leading notes) to illustrate that the mercy has become visible in Christ. Moreover, the alternation between double and triple time ("tempus imperfectum" versus "perfectum") and the utilization of the ambiguity of the 6/8-meter (3-3 or 2-2-2) stand for Christ being both man and god.