fall 12 concert notes

Fall 2012 Concert Program Notes

Concert soloists:


W. A. Mozart, Mass in C Minor

While many people are familiar with the story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Requiem, K. 626, which was left unfinished upon Mozart’s death, far fewer people are aware that Mozart left an even more ambitious vocal work, the “Great” Mass in C minor, K. 427 (K. 417a), incomplete as well. If the tale of the Requiem is the stuff of great drama — as demonstrated in the 1984 Academy Award-winning film Amadeus — then the mystery of the Mass in C minor is its musical equivalent. After two hundred years of sleuthing and speculation, it remains unclear why Mozart composed the mass, as well as why he never completed it.

Mozart Symphony No. 29 in A Major, K.201/186a

Mozart wrote the 29th Symphony when he was just 18 years old, following his return to Saltzburg after years performing and studying contemporary music in Italy with his father. Though the recent appointment in Saltzburg of Prince-Archbishop Hieronymus Colloredo had led to some tightening of the ecclesiastical budget in the city (ceremonies and decorations became less lavish, and masses were now to be kept within three-quarters of an hour in length), evidently sufficient funds were available to provide the young prodigy a paid musical position, granting him important opportunities in the development of his career. The 29th Symphony could be said to represent the beginning of his explosive development--although the piece followed 28 others composed in the same genre, the 29th Symphony exhibits new musical growth that, in they eyes of many scholars, resulted from Mozart's exposure to the great works by Joseph Haydn, Gregorio Allegri and others during his travels to Italy. After composing the first 27 symphonies in a 9-year period leading up to his 18th birthday, Mozart paused in his symphonic writing for a four-year hiatus following the completion of the 29th Symphony, as if in acknowledgement of the significance of the piece. During this time, Mozart turned his attention to the Concerto, producing 5 violin concerti in 1775, and 4 piano concerti in 1776.

Ave Verum Corpus, K. 618


Ave, verum corpus
natum de Maria Virgine,
Vere passum immolatum
in Cruce pro homine,
Cujus latus perforatum
unda fluxit et sanguine,
Esto nobis praegustatum
in mortis examine.
Hail,true body
born of the Virgin Mary,
Who truly suffered, sacrificed
on the Cross for man,
Whose pierced side overflowed
with water and blood,
Be for us a foretaste
In the test of death.