Mozart was an avowed Freemason, and his connection to the order became integrated with his compositional output. In 1785 he composed the Maurerische Trauermusik (Masonic Funeral Music). It was written in honor of two deceased brethren Franz, Count Esterhazy de Galantha and Georg August, Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Mozart associated certain musical motifs with Masonic ideas. The rising interval of the major sixth and various rhythmic embodiments of Masonic ritual knocks were among the elements he used as musical symbols. Although the Requiem is not specifically Masonic in nature, there are aspects present including some of these musical motifs. This 1991 recording bears the signature of Jordi Savall s talent as a conductor the intensity of emotion, clarity of structure and the emphasis on singing musical lines. This new multichannel re-mastering sheds new light on a true gem of the back catalog.
First things first: if you're seeing a picture of this disc on the site of an online retailer, be aware that it contains the Mass in C minor, K. 427, not the "Mass in C," promised by the cover, which would more likely be the "Coronation" Mass in C major, K. 337. It is always a shame when designers are given power of diktat over content editors. The so-called "Great" Mass in C minor is one of Mozart's most ambitious and most problematical works. There was no known immediate stimulus for its composition. Did Mozart begin writing it out of one of his rare religious impulses, on the occasion of his marriage to his bride Constanze? Out of his growing devotion to Freemasonry? Was it his first major exercise in applying the lessons in Bach-style counterpoint he had been receiving at the intellectual salons of the Baron van Swieten in Vienna? Or was it meant as a showpiece for singer Constanze with its killer soprano arias? It was all of these things and none of them, for Mozart never finished the mass.
Wolfgang Mozart joined the order of the freemasons at the lodge "Zur Wohltдtigkeit" (Benefaction) in Vienna on December 14, 1784. Mozart and freemasonry seemed an ideal match, and in a little over a year he would achieve the status of "master mason." A small number of works among Mozart's late output was intended directly for use in Masonic lodges, and two major non-Masonic works, the opera Die Zauberflцte (The Magic Flute, K. 620) and the Requiem K. 626, share strong Masonic connections. The best known of Mozart's Masonic compositions is the Maurerische Trauermusik, K. 477 (479a) scored originally for two violins, two violas, clarinet, basset horn, two oboes, two horns, and bass. Mozart later added parts for two additional basset horns and bassoon, resulting in an instrumentation absolutely unique in Mozart's vast output…- David Lewis
This 17CD Limited Edition Set encompasses the 70-year history of one of Germany’s leading orchestras. Includes no fewer than 5 CDs of world premiere recordings by luminaries such as Kertész, Sinopoli, Blomstedt as well as definitive recordings by all the famous conductors who shaped the orchestra’s distinctive style.
To classify this Mozart release by Dutch pianist Daria van den Bercken might mean putting it under the heading of modern-piano interpretations influenced by the historical-performance movement. Van den Bercken herself says in her notes that although she comes "up against a wall" when she plays Mozart on a fortepiano, she admires and has been inspired by the work of fortepianist Malcolm Bilson and conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Her Mozart is sharply articulated and only lightly pedaled. On another level, though, her readings owe little to historically oriented performances. The "keys to Mozart" in the album title are pretty general (look to opera to understand Mozart's melodies), but van den Bercken's readings are individual and very finely wrought.