Masses for Celebration is centered around the 44-year career of Madrid's most unusual 18th-century composer, Francisco Courcelle. Of French parents, Italian birth and Spanish career, he was a thoroughly international man. The two mass settings on this recording are from 1750 and 1763. The mass set on the hymn tune Ave maris stella was composed near the beginning of the reign of Fernando VI and Barbara de Braganza, a period of particularly active music composition under this music loving couple. Under the direction of Grover Wilkins, the Orchestra of New Spain is composed of forty musicians, instrumentalists and singers, specializing in Baroque music as well as ideal exponents of the dramatic music of the 18th century. The stability of the Orchestra's membership brings to the repertory an unusual sensitivity to its original purpose and the expression thereof.