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Special Music on Sunday, March 23, 2014 at the 10:00 a.m. Service

Special Music for Lent

Missa Brevis in B-flat, K. 275

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Sunday, March 23 at the 10:00 a.m. Service

On the Third Sunday of Lent, March 23, the Adult Choir, soloists and string trio will present Mozart’s Missa Brevis in B-flat at the 10:00 a.m. service.

The “Missa brevis” or “Brief Mass” was one of two types of Masses performed during the liturgical year in Mozart’s day (the late 18th century). The “Missa brevis” was sung on ordinary Sundays of the Church Year, and was accompanied by a small orchestra of strings and organ. The “Missa solemnis” or “Solemn Mass” was used on feast days or high festivals such as Christmas, Easter or Pentecost. It was accompanied by a larger group of instrumentalists, often including trumpets and timpani. Both types of liturgical Masses use the same set of texts, the “Ordinary” of the Mass – Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei.

The Missa Brevis in B-flat, K. 275 was probably composed in Salzburg in 1777, when Mozart was 21 years old. Later in that year, Mozart and his mother traveled to Munich, Mannheim and Paris in search of a better position for Mozart who was a court musician at the time. A letter written to Mozart by his father, who was still in Salzburg, indicates that the Mass was first performed at the Salzburg Cathedral in December while Mozart was away on the trip.

The piece opens with a lilting theme sung by the soprano soloist and then echoed in the choral parts, a pattern of solo-chorus alternation that continues throughout the piece. Mozart’s gift for writing beautiful melodies is evident in this mass, as well as his ability to “paint” the text in the music. Please join us for this special Lenten service on March 23.

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