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Antonio Caldara

Missa dolorosa

Vienna Boys Choir, Members of the Vienna State Opera orchestra and men's choir, "Choralschola der Wiener Hofburgkapelle"


Antonio Caldara (ca. 1670-1736): Missa dolorosa

Antonio Caldara served at the Viennese Court from 1716 as Vice Court Kapellmeister. His tenure coincided with the reign of Emperor Charles VI, under whom Viennese court music flourished, both in terms of its size and its numerous representative tasks. In addition to his duties as Vice Court Kapellmeister, Caldara was also responsible for the musical education of several members of the imperial family.

Born in Italy, he received vocal training as well as lessons on the violoncello. He was an extremely prolific composer of secular (including some 87 operas) and sacred works. The lightness and cantabile Italian style characterise his compositions just as much as a confident and relaxed mastery of the strict contrapuntal movement, which was particularly required in church compositions at the Viennese court.

The "Missa dolorosa" is a late work by Caldara (1735). Despite a certain liveliness, the melancholic mood dominates. Its instrumentation is reduced; in essence, it is limited to a string ensemble. The individual movements of the mass are composed of sections that contrast in terms of setting and music. It is striking that the first two movements (Kyrie, Gloria) are much more richly elaborated than the following ones. Caldara seems to have worked here under great time pressure, as was often the case with him.

Presumably the Mass was given the addition "dolorosa" (" sorrowful ") because it was to be performed for the feast of the Seven Sorrows of Mary. Maria Helfgott
Translation: Godwin Gundacker

Choir: Vienna Boys Choir, Members of the Vienna State Opera men's choir, "Choralschola der Wiener Hofburgkapelle"
Orchestra: Members of the Vienna State Opera orchestra

Celebrant: Peter Schipka

Duration: 75 min (09:15- 10:30)


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Vienna Boy's Choir and the String section of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra