Wiener Hofmusikkapelle, Seit 525 Jahren. To home page

Franz Schubert

Vienna Boys Choir, Vienna State Opera men's choir, "Choralschola der Wiener Hofburgkapelle", Members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Mirjam Schmidt, Jeremy Joseph


Franz Schubert (1797-1828): Mass in G major, D 167

Schubert grew up in the Viennese church music tradition from childhood. He came from a family of teachers, and the profession of teacher was closely linked to musical activity in the church. Thus, despite his thoroughly critical approach to the institution of the church, he had a close relationship especially with his home church, that of the then Viennese suburb of Lichtental. He received lessons in singing and basso continuo from the Regens chori, Michael Holzer, and became the first soprano of the local choir before he was able to take up a soprano position as a choirboy of the k.k. Hofkapelle in 1808.

Schubert wrote the G major Mass in 1815, when he was just 18 years old, in only six days. It is one of the four early masses that were most likely all first performed in the Lichtental church and thus had to meet the practical requirements of the local music ensemble.

The mass, with its small ensemble, is short and rather simple; at times it seems downright reduced, but this does not prevent a fine arrangement and individual interpretation of the text. The Sanctus, for example, is short, but with the help of a chromatically descending bass line it takes on a dramatic quality that reflects the Romantic idea of the unimaginable and infinite divine. In the traditionally quiet Benedictus, on the other hand, Schubert combines his talent for arias with contrapuntal skill.

The G major Mass soon became widely known and is still one of Schubert's most frequently sung masses. Maria Helfgott

Translation: Godwin Gundacker using


Conductor: Mirjam Schmidt
Organist: Jeremy Joseph
Choir: Vienna Boys Choir, Vienna State Opera men's choir, "Choralschola der Wiener Hofburgkapelle"
Orchestra: Members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

Celebrant: Peter Schipka

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