Mass No. 2 in G Major, D.167 (1815), by Franz Schubert

With this Mass, composed by Franz Schubert (1797-1828), we experience his gift for lyric beauty and simplicity.  Although he was only 18 years old, this was his second Mass and his 167th musical composition, according to the numbering of cataloger Otto Erich Deutsch. By the time of his death at age 31, Schubert had written at least 998 works, including more than 600 songs. Schubert was an accomplished singer as well as a gifted composer for chorus, orchestra and piano.  His solo songs are considered standard repertoire for voice students at any level.  His melodies are always beautiful and wonderful to sing. Much has been written about Schubert’s supposed unorthodoxy or unbelief, but in a letter to his father he wrote:  “People have wondered at the piety I express in a hymn to the Virgin Mary, which seems to move every soul and to dispose the listener to prayer.  I think that is because I never force myself to pray and, except when devotion involuntarily overpowers me, I never compose that kind of hymn or prayer – when I do, then the piety I give voice to is genuine and deeply felt.”  Historical documents indicate that young Franz composed his Mass in G Major in March of 1815 in just five days.  This popular Mass, though simple, is a real pearl.  There is a measured simplicity in the Credo, which is over before you realize it has ended.  Later in November of 1815, Schubert began his Mass in B-flat (D.324), which the Chorale will perform on February 10, 2013, the Anniversary of the Dedication of the Church of St. Agnes.

 

The weekly schedule of Chorale Masses is posted here, and printed copies are at the church entrance, along with donation envelopes. The Chorale is a non-profit organization and depends on the generosity of donors. Please send contributions to: Twin Cities Catholic Chorale, P.O. Box 4234, St. Paul, MN 55104. A few of our contributors have asked about sponsoring a specific Mass on a given Sunday. If you might be interested, please contact Virginia Schubert, the Chorale’s President, at inquiry@catholicchorale.org.

 

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