Piccolomini Mass (K 258) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

This Missa Brevis in C-major and various other sacred music compositions by Mozart survived with the help of the monks at Heilig Kreuz (Holy Cross) monastery in Augsburg, Germany. In 1777 Mozart and his mother were traveling to Mannheim and Paris and stopped in his father’s hometown of Augsburg to see relatives. While there Mozart visited Heilig Kreuz, where his father had sung in the choir, and he delighted the monks with his talent as a pianist and composer. As a farewell gift, he loaned the monks several of his handwritten compositions to copy for liturgical use. In succeeding years he loaned them additional works via his cousin, Marianne Mozart, and the monks eagerly copied and played them. To this day the treasured copies are in the Heilig Kreuz and Augsburg diocesan archives.

Piccolomini Mass is another Missa Brevis designed to meet the time constraints outlined by Archbishop Colloredo in Vienna.  Composed in December of 1776, Mozart continues to explore new styles and ideas. The Gloria and Credo are not expanded in any way, but are unique in their clarity and musical integrity. Mozart was also exploring new ideas for instrumental music, but the Masses composed at this time were heard by very large audiences at churches, and Mozart became very popular throughout Salzburg and Vienna  for his sacred music.

*You may want to plan ahead to be here on All Souls Day, November 2nd for the Requiem Mass at 7:30 in the evening.

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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