Recording from 7.2.2021
W.A. Mozart (1756 - 1791)
Missa solemnis, C-Dur, KV 337
The "Missa Solemnis" KV 337 was Mozart's last Salzburg mass, composed in 1780.
The orchestra is on an equal footing with the singing in this mass. Mozart was able to achieve a special effect with the instrumentation in Salzburg Cathedral, where he found original features from the Baroque period: There were four organ galleries on the crossing pillars, on which the orchestra and the vocal soloists were divided into four groups, while the choir had its place as the fifth group with its own organ and bass below in the choir loft. This gave the juxtaposition of different instrumental groups, but also of soloists and choir, a special charm. Mozart makes skilful use of dynamic contrasts and gradations here: already in the Kyrie, a restrained, simple beginning which, after an increase, leads into a quiet instrumental finale. The Sanctus features a small-scale juxtaposition of forte and piano, combined with a crescendo-like intensification. The Benedictus is unusually contrapuntal. Usually this movement displays a lovely melodic quality, but here it is an instrumentally intensified fugue, strongly interspersed with chromaticism, which ultimately leads into the jubilant "Hosanna". In the Agnus Dei, organ, oboe and bassoon concert with the solo soprano. Mozart himself liked to use this mass even after his Salzburg period, when it came to presenting himself as a church musician. It was already widely performed during his lifetime and was probably already part of the repertoire of the Viennese court orchestra in the 1790s.
Translation: Godwin Gundacker
Recording from 25.12.2019
Joseph Haydn (1732 - 1809)
Mass in G-Major, Hob XXII:6
In the Catholic tradition, the name day (instead of the birthday) was celebrated in a big fashion. Haydn titled this mass "Missa Sancti Nicolai In Nomine Domini di me Giuseppe Haydn 772", thus the mass is dedicated to Saint Nicholas and was probably composed for the name day of Haydn's employer, Nicholas II Prince Esterházy, in 1772. It was first performed in the princely castle chapel of Eisenstadt. St. Nicholas' Day is 6 December, which already falls in the Advent season - a fact that could explain the partly pastoral, almost folk-like and rather intimate character of the mass. Pastoral music with violins, oboes and horns, 6/8 metre, triadic figures and songlike melodicism, as this Mass shows, was very popular at the time in general, but especially at Christmas time. Haydn himself seems to have appreciated the Mass, for he later performed it again on several occasions, as did his successor Johann Nepomuk Hummel. For this purpose, the originally rather small instrumentation was also expanded. The contemporary biographer G. A. Griesinger wrote of Haydn: His "devotion was not of the sombre, always penitent kind, but cheerful, reconciled, trusting." And this kind of piety is also reflected in his masses.
Translation: Godwin Gundacker
Joseph Mayseder (1789-1863)
Mass in Eb-Major, op. 64
Joseph Mayseder was soloist in the orchestra of the Vienna Court Opera House and concertmaster of the Vienna Court Music Ensemble. He composed numerous violin virtuoso pieces as well as chamber music and his important late Mass in E minor, op. 64. The mass was written for mixed chorus, strings, bassoons, clarinets, horns, trumpets, trombones and kettle drum. It does not include the usual vocal solos, thus emphasizing the choir as a whole instead. The intimate Adagio of the Kyrie is followed by a Gloria in three parts: the Gloria and Quoniam are characterized by rapid staccato sixteenth-note figures in the violins, the Qui tollis (Larghetto) by a clarinet solo. The middle section of the three-parted Credo (Et incarnatus) is composed as a solemn Adagio; the atmospheric Sanctus in B major is followed by a short Benedictus in G major, which finally leads to the Agnus Dei in G minor and Dona nobis in E sharp major. The mass was first performed on June 18, 1848 at the Imperial Chapel and remained a popular part of the ensemble’s repertoire until 1940.
Translation: Nora Tunkel
Last movement of Joseph Haydn's Kaiserquartett.
This clip was recorded on 16th of October 2020 in the Imperial Court Chapel performed by the Auner Quartett, as part of the "Kultur Glaube Macht" (Culture Faith Power) concert cycle.