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"Gloria" Diary 2006(2) →
On Sunday, November 12, 2006, the concert of "Gloria Ensemble and Choir Vol.14" will be performed. Here is the information of the concert. Year 2006 is the 250th anniversary of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's birth. So "Gloria Ensemble and Choir" will will treat his "Missa Solemnis K 337" and "Vesperae K.339". I belong this group as a harpsichord or organ player... What are waiting for us ? Please read the following...
NOTE : I divide "Gloria Diary 2006" as the following;
The next "Gloria" on year 2006 features W. A. Mozart. Classicism style music is my favorite field. Good! Everything is OK! By the way, the pieces we will treat are "Missa Solemnis K337" and "Vesperae K339"...I have heard "Missa Solemnis" but please let me know. What is "Vesperae"?
Oh? Do you want to say "Do you actually know Missa Solemnis?" Of course! It is "Solemn Mass" or "High Mass". Beethoven's op.123 is famous. It is dignified Mass with long time to play and huge volume, isn't it? Mozart's K337 will also have long playing time more than 1 hours. Oh? Does it have only about 30 minutes? It is too short! Is my knowledge incorrect? Well...please let me know. What is "Missa Solemnis"?
As the above shows, it came to the surface that I don't have enough knowledge about the characteristic of the pieces which we will treat in this year. But it is classicism style music. Good! Everything will be OK...What? Is it doubtful? Oh, no!
On the end of December, I heard the information somewhat I should wonder from Reuters (←lie). Mr. Kumekawa, who had been the chief of the orchestra in "Gloria", will not be join next concert. And I received the information that Mr. Sugaya, who had been the representative also will stop his activity in "Gloria". According to the information I have got, Mr. Kataoka, the chief conductor, will be directly manage "Gloria vol.14". How will the orchestra be generated? Can I join "Vol.14"? In order to get more detailed information, I went to scout the orientation of the chorus of "Vol.14".
At the orientation, it was explained that Mr. Kataoka assigns the member of the orchestra. I want to know that whether I can join or not. I met with Mr. Kataoka. "Well, I would like to join as an organ player."
The answer from Mr. Kataoka was, "Oh! I am pleased!". OK! I am welcomed! I confirmed that I am going to be an organ player in "Vol.14". I have not known the schedule of the orchestra yet. But it became clear that I can be a member of "Vol.14". I will start to read the music sheet of the pieces we will play.
Now, I got the set of sheet music, i.e., full scores of the pieces of the next concert. And I watch them. It is suspended to examine into the meanings of "Missa solemnis" and "Vesperae".(^^;)
The above shows the beginning of Missa solemnis (K.337). It begins with piano( p ) and chorus is introduced from the 13th measure. The instrumentation consists of 2 oboes, 2 bassoons (it is called fagotto in Italian), two of clarino (it is not clarinet but ancient trumpet without no valve devices.), a set of timpani, vocal solos and chorus (soprano, alto, tenor, bass), violins, and instrumental bass part of cello, contrabass, and organ. The instrumental bass part was written with figured bass and includes keyboard instrument. It is same as basso continuo in baroque music. We should also notice that there are no violas and it means "three-part" in string section. Three-part instrumentation was frequently used in baroque music. Most typical instrumental music was "trio sonata", which was typical chamber music in baroque music. The following shows Arcangelo Corelli's trio sonata.
Certainly, Mozart's music belongs to classicism style and has different features from baroque music. However even in classicism period, features of baroque music were remaining in vocal music field while it was already removed in the field of instrumental music. The "three-part" in strings and figured bass are also baroque-like features. In classicism style period, figured bass was already extinguished in instrumental music, for example, symphony. But it was still active in vocal religious music.
The following music sheet is the beginning of the 1st movement of Vesperae (K.339), i.e., "Dixit".
The instrumentation is same as Missa solemnis (K.337) except for there are no woodwinds. There may be similarity between K.337 and K.339. However, in Vespeare (K.339), not only orchestra but chorus appears from the starting point of the music and it is forte (f). We should consider the similarity and differences in these two of music.
"Laudate pueri" - the 4th movement of "Vesperae" is magnificent fugue.
Mozart used this theme 10 years later again, i.e., double-fugue of "Kyrie" in "Requiem K626". Both of music is D-minor and the fugal theme with diminished 7th interval impressed us in the both.
Diminished seventh - the sharp discordant interval firstly appeared in baroque music period and had been used to express strong emotion. Fugal themes with diminished seventh are widely used in the end of baroque music period and classicism period. It can be called "heritage" at that period. The following music sheet shows a few examples of these widely used melodies.
Beethoven also used the melody belonging these "heritage". In his last piano sonata op.111, the 1st movement is sonata form, but the theme has the properties of fugal theme. And it is treated with fugal technique in bridge passage and the development. We can say that it also belongs the series of "fugal theme with diminished seventh".
When treating "Vesperae K.339", the most remarkable comparison is with Michael Haydn's requiem MH 154. The melody of "Cum sanctis tuis" is almost completely same as "Laudate pueri".
Mozart's "Vesperae" was composed somewhat later than M.Haydn's "Requiem". So it is natural to say that Mozart had known M.Haydn's music. However, Mozart's music is superior to M.Haydn's. In Mozart's music, various techniques of development are used and these cannot be observed in M.Haydn's music. For example, the 2nd theme from 26th bar,
the double-fugue technique using these two themes,
chorus part and instrumental part going completely different way,
the inverse of the theme.
There techniques are not observed in M.Haydn's requiem. Using "heritage" theme and various technique of fugal development - these are attractive points of this "Laudate pueri".
Please let me know your impression via e-mail or BBS.
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