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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Coronation-Mass, KV 317

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


Mozart, Mass in C major, KV 317 – Coronation Mass

On 17 January 1779 Mozart was appointed court organist at the Salzburg archbishop's court. Probably in order to present himself appropriately in this new function, he composed the "Coronation Mass". He was able to incorporate all the experience he had gained on the great journey to Mannheim and Paris, especially in instrumental music, into this solemn, richly scored "Missa solemnis". This is evident in his striving for clear forms and thematic unity as well as in the differentiated dynamic shaping.

Mozart did not choose the key of C major for his solemn masses by chance: The trumpets in Salzburg were C instruments that did not yet have the technical capabilities to play equally in all keys, which prevented larger modulations and distant keys when trumpets were involved.

As in his other masses, one finds here a musical interpretation of the text that is basically in keeping with tradition, but finely worked out. In the expressive, wide-ranging soprano aria of the Agnus Dei, a closeness to the later composed aria of the Countess "Dove sono i bei momenti" from Le Nozze di Figaro cannot be ignored. The "Dona nobis" varies the Kyrie and thus brings a certain closure to the composition.

The title "Coronation Mass" does not come from Mozart himself, but it can be found on early copies. While the name used to be associated with the traditional "coronation" of the image of grace in the pilgrimage church of Maria Plain near Salzburg, it is now assumed that it was probably performed at the coronation of Emperor Francis II as King of Bohemia in Prague in 1792. Maria Helfgott

Translation: Godwin Gundacker using


Conductor: Mirjam Schmidt
Organist: Wolfgang Kogert
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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