Friday, January 27, 2006

happy birthday, Wolfgang

As today is the 250th anniversary of the birth of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, I have it in mind to listen to one his works, one of which is his “Coronation Mass.” I heard it for the first time at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco several years ago and was enthralled.

I particularly enjoyed the Credo in that piece. It begins with a very fast and lively tempo.

Then it gets slow and meditative at the words recalling the Incarnation and the Crucifixion: Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine, et homo factus est. Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato, passus et sepultus est.

And then it picks up that lively tempo again for the words professing the Resurrection.

But for me the most stirring part occurs towards the end, when the choir repeats the very first words with which it began the Creed, “Credo in Unum Deum;” and then puncutates it gloriously with “Amen,” as the trumpets and the kettle drums end the movement. Simply glorious.

Anyway, as part of your Mozart-birthday celebration today, you might like to look over at National Public Radio which is doing a special feature on the composer and his works.

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