Conducted by Kent Tritle
Rachel Rosales, Soprano
Malena Dayen, Mezzo-soprano
John Tiranno, Tenor
Joshua South, Baritone
Orchestra of the Society
Recording Engineer, J Scott Hinkley
Mass No. 15 in C Major, K317
Wolfgan Amadeus Mozart
(born Salzburg, January 27, 1756; died Vienna, December 5, 1791)
By age 21, Mozart had already completed two phases of his career—as a traveling prodigy and as a musician in the Archbishop of Salzburg’s court. In August 1777, Mozart left Salzburg to find employment more to his liking and during the next eighteen months traveled to Mannheim and Paris. Not only did he not find an acceptable position, he fell in love, subsequently losing the woman to another man. Then, while they were in Paris, his mother fell ill and died. Nevertheless the trip was profitable in that it exposed him to new approaches to music that profoundly influenced his own style. At the insistence of his father, Mozart returned to Salzburg in 1779 and accepted the position of court organist. Among his duties was composing sacred works for services at the cathedral.
The Mass in C Major, K317 was composed for this new position. It was most likely written for the Easter service, as its jubilant tone reflects. (The origin of its nickname, Coronation Mass, is uncertain. It may come from the Mass’s performance at imperial coronations in Prague between 1790 and 1792.) The Mass is one of the seventeen missae breves Mozart composed. These Masses were intended to fit within the confines of a “short Mass,” in contrast to more formal Masses. Compounding the need for compactness was the Archbishop’s insistence that liturgical music not draw attention away from the service itself. Even solemn Masses (which the Easter service undoubtedly was) were not permitted to last more than forty-five minutes.
This meant that Mozart needed to compose a grand-scale work for soloists, chorus, and orchestra that fit within the Archbishop’s parameters. He did it with time to spare, in part by not showcasing the individual soloists and by abbreviating the fugues that traditionally ended the Gloria and Credo. Mozart even built in musical segues for the congregation. The transition from chorus to soloists at “Et incarnatus” in the Credo allowed time for the congregation to go from standing to kneeling. Similarly, the break between the Sanctus and Benedictus accommodated the practice of dividing that text before and after the Consecration.
The Coronation Mass is a dancing, sparkling gem, one of the most beloved of Mozart’s missae breves. The Oratorio Society of New York performed it in Salzburg in 1982 on its European debut tour and again in 2011 at the Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica that inaugurated the 10th International Festival of Sacred Music and Art.
Three A Capella Motets
(born Ansfelden, Austria, September 4, 1824; died Vienna, October 11, 1896)
An intently devout Catholic, Anton Bruckner composed a large number of sacred choral pieces, including roughly forty motets. The three presented on this recording all have close personal associations with Bruckner’s life.
Os justi, WAB 30
After the death of his father in 1837, Bruckner was sent to study as a choirboy at the Augustinian monastery of St. Florian. He also occasionally played the massive organ at services; it is now known as the Bruckner organ. Bruckner left St. Florian after three years of study; in 1845 he returned as a teacher and organist, remaining there until 1855. Years later, in 1879, Bruckner composed Os justi in celebration of the feast of St. Augustine and dedicated it to Ignaz Traumihler, the current organist and music director at St. Florian. (The text is from Psalm 37:30–31.) Traumihler was an advocate of the Cecilian Movement, which aimed to restore church music to its earlier, purer forms. Bruckner fulfilled the Cecilian requirements, even ending Os justi with a plainsong “Alleluia.” Nevertheless, and despite its austere construction, Os justi is emotionally driven and Romantic in its overall effect.
Locust iste, WAB 23
In 1856 Bruckner entered a competition for the position of organist at Linz Cathedral. His extraordinary improvisational abilities marked him as the obvious choice and he remained as organist in Linz for the next twelve years. In 1869, the year after he left Linz to teach music theory at the Vienna Conservatory, Bruckner wrote Locus iste for the dedication of a votive chapel at Linz Cathedral. (The text of Locus iste is traditional for the consecration of a church or chapel.) This apparently straightforward piece is quiet throughout except on the key words inaestimabile sacramentum (precious symbol), irreprehensibilis (without fault), and coda’s Deo (God) where the work’s only melisma spins an ethereal spell. Lasting only a few minutes, Locus iste is a hauntingly beautiful work reminiscent of the quiet chapel it honored.
Ave Maria, WAB 6
Ave Maria is the earliest of the three Bruckner motets featured on this recording. The second of his settings of the prayer, it was written for the 1861 anniversary celebration of the Liedertafel Frohsinn, a choral group that Bruckner directed at the time. Scored for a seven-part a cappella chorus, it is the most complex of the three motets performed here. Its warm, intimate tone is in keeping with the familiar nature of the text and with Bruckner’s simultaneous fascination with old and modern styles of composition.
Bruckner’s symphonies present his musical ideas on a grand scale. In these motets, we see his introspective genius reflected in their seamless flow and traditional progressions, and in the simple piety of a humble believer.
TEXTS AND TRANSLATIONS
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Mass No. 15 in C Major, K 317
1. Kyrie: Chorus & Quartet (2:33)
Lord have mercy
Christ have mercy
Lord have mercy
2. Gloria: Chorus & Quartet (4:30)
Gloria in excelsis Deo et in terra pax
hominibus bonae voluntatis.
Laudamus te, benedicimus te, adoramus
te. glorificamus te, gratias agimus tibi
propter magnam gloriam tuam.
Domine Deus, rex coelestis, Deus pater
omnipotens, Domine fili unigenite, Jesu
Christe, Domine Deus, agnus Dei, filius
Qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Qui tollis peccata mundi, suscipe
deprecationem nostram. Qui sedes ad
dexteram patris, miserere nobis,
Quoniam tu solus Sanctus, tu solus
Dominus, tu solus altissimus, Jesu
Cum Sancto Spiritu, in gloria Dei patris.
Glory to God in the highest and on earth
peace to men of good will.
We praise you, we bless you, we adore you,
we glorify you, we give thanks to you for your
Lord God, heavenly king, God the Father
almighty; Lord Jesus Christ, the only
begotten Son. Lord God, Lamb of God,
Son of the Father,
You who takes away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us. You who takes away
the sins of the world, hear our prayers.
You who sits at the right of the Father,
have mercy on us.
For you alone are holy, you alone are
Lord, you alone, Jesus Christ, are
Together with the Holy Spirit in the glory of
God the Father. Amen.
3. Credo: Chorus & Quartet (6:32)
Credo in unum Deum, patrem
omnipotentem, factorem coeli et terrae,
visibilium omnium et invisibilium.
Et in unum Dominum Jesum Christum,
filium Dei unigenitum, et ex patre natum
ante omnia saecula.
Deum de Deo, lumen de lumine, Deum
verum de Deo vero, genitum non factum,
consubstantialem patri per quem omnia
Qui propter nos homines et propter
nostram salutem descendit de coelis.
Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria
Virgine. Et homo factus est.
Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio
Pilato, passus, et sepultus est.
Et resurrexit tertia die secundum
scripturas. Et ascendit in coelum, sedet
ad dexteram patris.
Et iterum venturus est cum gloria judicare
vivos et mortuos. Cujus regni non erit
Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum et
vivificantem, qui ex patre filioque procedit.
Qui cum patre et filio simul adoratur et
conglorificatur. Qui locutus est per
Et unam, sanctam, catholicam et
Confiteor unum baptisma in remissionem
Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum et
vitam venturi saeculi. Amen.
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty,
creator of heaven and earth, and all things
seen and unseen.
And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only
begotten Son of God, born of the Father
before all ages.
God of Gods, light of lights, true God of true
Gods, begotten not made, of one being
with the Father by whom all things were
Who for all men and for our salvation came
down from heaven.
And was conceived by the Virgin Mary of the
Holy Spirit. And was made man.
He was crucified for us by Pontius Pilate,
died, and was buried.
On the third day He rose from the dead,
according to the Scriptures. He ascended
into heaven and sits at the right of
He will come again in glory to judge the living
and the dead. Of His kingdom there will
be no end.
And I believe in the Holy Spirit, Lord and giver
of life, who continues with the Father and
the Son, who with the Father and the Son
is worshipped and glorified. Who was
spoken of by the prophets.
And in one holy, universal, and apostolic
I acknowledge one baptism for the remission
And I await the resurrection of the dead, and
life everlasting. Amen.
4. Sanctus: Chorus (1:42)
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus,
Dominus Deus sabaoth.
Pleni sunt coeli et terra gloria tua.
Osanna in excelsis.
Holy, holy, holy,
Lord God of multitudes.
Heaven and earth are filled with your glory.
Praise in the highest.
5. Benedictus: Quartet & Chorus (3:22)
Benedictus qui venit
in nomine Domini.
Osanna in excelsis.
Blessed is he who comes
in the name of the Lord.
Praise in the highest.
6. Agnus Dei: Quartet & Chorus (6:04)
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,
dona nobis pacem.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, give us peace
Three a capella Motets
7. Os justi, WAB 30 (4:07)
Os justi meditabitur sapientiam,
et lingua ejus loquetur judicium.
Lex Dei ejus in corde ipsius,
Et non supplantabuntur gressus ejus.
The mouth of the righteous contemplates wisdom
And his tongue speaks what is just.
he law of his God is in his heart,
And his steps do not falter.
8. Locus iste, WAB 23 (2:29)
Locus iste a Deo factus est.
This place was made by God.
A precious symbol,
it is without fault.
9. Ave Maria, WAB 6 (2:53)
Ave Maria, gratia plena,
Benedicta tu in mulieribus et benedictus
fructus ventris tui, Jesus.
Sancta Maria, mater Dei, ora pro nobis
peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis
Hail Mary, filled with grace,
the Lord is with you.
You are blessed among women and blessed
is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us
sinners, now and at the hour of