Franz Schubert’s Mass in C Major

Mass No. 4 in C Major, Op 48, D 452 (1816)

Franz Schubert (b.Vienna1797; d.Vienna1828) composed his Mass in C in July of 1816.  Although he was only 19 years old, this was his fourth Mass and his 452nd musical composition, according to the catalogue of Schubert’s works compiled by musicologist Otto Deutsch. A second Benedictus for this Mass was added much later and listed by Deutsch as D 961, but it is the original Benedictus that we will hear in this morning’s presentation. By the time of his death at age 31, Schubert had written almost 1,000 works, including more than 600 songs. Franz 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 and his melodies are always beautiful and wonderful to sing. The original Benedictus is an excellent example of Schubert’s many memorable melodies. Schubert’s treatment of the liturgical texts has come in for some criticism, especially for the omission of some passages in the Credo.  One explanation is that Schubert was quoting the lines from memory, because he did not have access to the texts.  In any case, the Chorale sings edited versions of these Masses, which include the complete text, and thus are liturgically correct. (25:25)

Franz Schubert’s Mass in C is conducted by Chorale music director Dr. Marc Jaros. Mary E. LeVoir is the organist. Soloists are Patricia Kent, soprano; Jocelyn Kalajian, contralto; John deCausmeaker, tenor; and Jon Nordstrom, bass. The Schola Cantorum is directed by Paul W. LeVoir. The Mass in C was first presented by the Twin Cities Catholic Chorale & Orchestra during the 1978-79 season. The Chorale & Orchestra last presented this Mass on February 11, 2018.

Recommended Listening:

  • Schubert: Mass in B-flat, D324; Mass in C, D452 / Weil: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment / 1996 / Sony SK68248



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