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Jacobus Gallus

Missa canonica

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

 

Jacobus Gallus (1550-1591): Missa canonica

Jacobus Gallus was born in 1550 in the Duchy of Carniola, in present-day Slovenia, where he also received his education. His further curriculum vitae is only partially known. What is certain is that he travelled widely: he worked at Melk Abbey by the Danube, in Olomouc, Obrowitz near Brno and in Prague, where he died as a respected man in 1591.

Gallus attributed particular importance to his compositional work. The publication of his works was of great concern to him. With care and using his entire personal fortune, he systematically had collections of his compositions printed. The "Missa canonica" was published in Prague in 1580 as the last part of his four-part collection of masses. The dedicatee is an important patron, Johannes Rueff, with whom Gallus was on friendly terms from his time at Melk Abbey and who had been elected abbot of the Cistercian Abbey of Zwettl in the year of publication.

Even though Jacobus Gallus titled the mass "Missa canonica", it is, like many of his other masses, designed as a "parody mass": In this compositional principle, entire sections (including polyphonic sections) are taken from mostly other works and used again and again in different arrangements. This mass is named after its canonic structure. In the sense of a double choir, not only two voices are led in the canon, but the whole four-part movement is imitated.

Dr.in 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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