This Mass was completed on March 23 1779 in Salzburg. It may have been intended to be used for the crowning of an image of the Virgin in the Church of Maria-Plain situated outside the walls of the city (hence the nickname). Mozart had just returned to Salzburg, after 18 months of fruitless job hunting in Paris and Mannheim, in January 1779. His father Leopold promptly got him a job as court organist and composer in the Salzburg Cathedral, and the organ features prominently in this work. It was almost certainly premiered on Easter Sunday April 4, 1779 in the Salzburg Cathedral. Subsequently, it was used for the Prague coronation of Emperor Leopold II of Austria in August 1791 (still justifying the nickname), with the composer in attendance. Two years later, it was performed at the coronation of Leopold's successor, Francis II.
The work is scored for SATB soloists and chorus, 2 violins, "Bassi", 2 oboes, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani, 3 trombones (which reinforce the alto, tenor and bass) and organ. Notable is the lack of violas, typical of music written for Salzburg, and the vague name "basses" for the stave shared by organ, bassoon (specified only in the Credo), Cello and Double bass. Among the original parts is one for "Violone", a slippery term sometimes implying a 16' bass but also used for the 8' Bass violin.
The Kyrie, Gloria and Credo all begin emphatically in C-major with an almost military rhythm. The soloists contrast with the larger forces of the choir, often as a quartet. Of note in this regard are the central Adagio section of the Credo at Et incarnatus est, and the surprise reprise of the Benedictus after the chorus has already declaimed the Hosanna. The soprano solo of the Agnus Dei exhibits melodic similarities to and may foreshadow "Dove sono", the Countess' main aria from Le Nozze di Figaro.
MOZART: "Coronation" Mass in C, K 317. Vesperae Solennes Do Confessore, K 339. Ave Verum Corpus, K 618/ MOZART: "Coronation" Mass in C, K 317. Missa Brevis, K 192. Church Sonatas, K 67, 224. Ave Verum Corpus, K 618. Exsultate, Jubilate, K 165
Jul 03, 2012; MOZART "Coronation" Mass in C, K 317. Vesperae solennes de Confessore, K 339. Ave verum corpus, K 618 * Benjamin Nicholas, cond;...