Thursday, April 9, 2015

A Glorious Work of Musical Art!

With Orthodox Easter (or Pascha, as it is better known) on its way, I like to listen to some religious music as I drive along.
I do have some Byzantine chant discs to play, but I am hearing these lovely and moving hymns in church each evening. So, by day, I turn to the glorious liturgical works of Wolfgang Mozart! Today I have his Great Mass in C minor in the car, and it is so beautiful! Cataloged as K427/417a, it was composed in Vienna in 1782-83, when he was no longer the church musician of the Salzburg Cathedral. The work, formally called a missa solemnis (solemn mass) that is sung in Latin, for two sopranos, a tenor and a bass, double chorus and a large orchestra.
In a letter to Leopold, his father, Wolfgang wrote that he vowed to write a mass when he brought his wife Constanze to Salzburg. She sang the "Et incarnates est" (He was made flesh) at the premier.The first performance took place on October 26,1783, which included the Kyrie, Gloria and Sanctus portions.

Give it a listen, and I think you will agree that you are transported!

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