Mozart: Coronation Mass in C major K317 (Vocal score)
Mixed Voices (SATB+)
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Mozart's 'Krâ”œÃ‚nungsmesse' ('Coronation Mass') was composed in 1779 and is one of the most popular of his 17 extant settings of the Ordinary of the Mass. This setting, like the majority of Mozart's mass settings, is a Missa brevis, or short mass. 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 of the Benedictus after the chorus has already declaimed the Hosanna. These musical breaks mimic what is occurring in the Mass at these points, and serve to link the music to the proper forum for which it was intended: The Traditional Roman Catholic Mass. Rubrics require the congregation to change from a standing position to a kneeling position at the 'incarnatus' out of respect for the Incarnation of Christ: hence the musical break. Similarly, only the first verse of the 'Sanctus' is sung before the Consecration, the 'Benedictus' verse is required to be sung afterward, according to the rubrics of the Mass. This required rubrical division often results in the verses appearing in music as two separate movements, although they are thematically joined. In the Credo, Mozart introduces the trombones for the Crucifixus and using a chromatic fourth in the bass. 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.
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