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Gottlieb Muffat

Mass in F-Major

"Choralschola der Wiener Hofburgkapelle", Jeremy Joseph


Gottlieb Muffat (1690-1770), Missa in F


Gottlieb Muffat is considered the most important composer of works for keyboard instruments in Vienna in the first half of the 18th century. Born in Passau as the youngest of nine children of the no less important Georg Muffat, he first received a sound musical education from his father. He was considered a child prodigy. At the age of ten, he is said to have played the harpsichord for the emperor, who allegedly promised him a future position. Presumably after the death of his father, at the age of fourteen, he and his mother came to Vienna where two of his siblings were already serving as instrumentalists at the court. It is assumed that in 1711, he was accepted with a scholarship of the court chapel and received lessons from the then vice court Kapellmeister Johann Joseph Fux before being appointed imperial court and chamber organist in 1717. He also served as organist to the Empress Dowager Wilhelmine Amalie.

Gottlieb Muffat likely composed the Missa in F in 1725, an organ mass intended as an organ part for "alternatim practice", in which solo organ alternates with chorale singing. Thus, each of the mass movements is divided into sections only a few measures long, corresponding to verses taken from the organ. Many of these are contrapuntal-imitatorial in style, others more toccata-like. All are thematically free, resulting in them not being tied to any particular chorale mass. Longer sections are for those parts of the liturgy that were traditionally accompanied purely instrumentally, i.e. by the organ alone, like for the offertory and during and after the consecration (sub and post elevatione, respectively). The mass does not require a big organ; it may have been performed, according to the practice of the time, on a small (mobile) organ both in the choir room of a church, and in one of the private chapels. Maria Helfgott

Translation: Patrick Malik using

Organist: Jeremy Joseph
Choir: "Choralschola der Wiener Hofburgkapelle"

Celebrant: Peter Schipka

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