Our workshop was great! It was very exciting to have time to go through all three pieces and really get a feel for how they work. They are so gorgeous that I found myself thinking “I get to sing these seven more times! Yeah! Five of them with orchestra and soloists!” And last night’s rehearsal was equally good.
I did get curious about when the works we’re singing were written. In fact, all three works were written in the course of a year to 18 months in 1779 to 1780 while Mozart was extremely unhappily employed in Salzburg. However I can’t find any traces of his unhappy relationship with his employer in the three works we are singing. And the circumstances did not appear to affect his musical output which included symphonies, sonatas, marches, opera fragments and other works for a range of instruments, including his Serenade in D, nicknamed “Posthorn” because it does indeed feature a posthorn.
The Coronation Mass does have a publication date – March 23, 1779 – appearing between various sonatas and a couple of symphonies. It feels more reflective to me than the Regina Coeli – well, it’s a Mass, after all. I love the way different texts are handed off between the chorus and the soloists, with the orchestra keeping everything neatly connected with little energetic two-measure transitions. My favorite movement is the Agnus Dei, where the chorus gets to reprise the gorgeous soprano solo.
To be continued . . .