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Special Music Sunday – March 10, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.

Special Music Sunday – March 10, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.

Mass in G by Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

The Fourth Sunday of Lent marks the mid-point of the penitential season, and is often referred to as Refreshment Sunday or Laetere Sunday. The word “laetere” means “rejoice” in Latin. Traditionally Laetere Sunday is viewed as a respite from the austerity of Lent, a day of celebration and encouragement as we continue the journey to Easter. On March 10 at 10:00 a.m., the St. Mary’s Choir, soloists and guest instrumentalists will lead a service of musical refreshment with Schubert’s Mass in G.

The Mass in G was composed in 1815 when Schubert was only 18 years old (and St. Mary’s was two!). Our best guess is that the Mass in G was written for a choir much the size of our own. Like his other early Masses, it was written while the young composer was attempting to obtain a position as a church composer. Schubert came from a humble family and such church positions provided income as well as time for composition. Using the Latin texts of the Mass, Schubert wrote beautiful melodies and interesting harmonic nuances to put his own stamp on this ancient liturgical form.

Classical Mass settings are often performed in concert, straight through without a break, but in Schubert’s day his music was placed in the context of the liturgy, in a simple attempt to enhance and support congregational worship, as we hope to do in presenting it at St. Mary’s.

The choir will be joined by a string quartet – two violins, viola, and cello – as well as organ. Please join us on March 10 to hear this beautiful yet simple setting of the Mass in its liturgical context.

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