Our choir will be singing this in May.  My very first Mass.  :)  The counting in some of the movements are quite tricky, as young Mozart decided that switching between common and cut time was a cool thing to do.

The Mass in G major (K. 49/47d) is the first full mass composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It is a missa brevis scored for SATB soloists, SATB choir, violin I and II, viola, and basso continuo.

Mozart wrote the Mass in G major at the age of 12. It was however neither his first setting of a part of the mass ordinary — two years earlier he had already composed a Kyrie (K. 33) —, nor was it his largest composition with a religious theme up to date: his sacred musical play Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots had been premiered in the previous year.

Composed in Vienna in the autumn of 1768, this mass is Mozart’s only missa brevis to feature a viola part.  It is not clear what occasion it was composed for, and it has been confused with the Waisenhausmesse, composed in the same year.

Religious music at the time was increasingly influenced by opera and Baroque embellishments in instrumentation; Mozart’s early masses, such as K. 49/47d, have been seen as a return to the more austere settings of the pre-Baroque era.

The six movements of the Mass follow the traditional Order of Mass:

  1. “Kyrie” Adagio, G major, common time
    “Kyrie eleison…” Andante, G major, 3/4
  2. “Gloria” Allegro, G major, common time
  3. “Credo” Allegro, G major, 3/4
    “Et incarnatus est…” Poco Adagio, C major, cut common time
    “Et resurrexit…” Allegro, G major, cut common time
    “Et in Spiritum Sanctum…” Andante, C major, 3/4; bass solo
    “Et in unam sanctam…” Allegro, G major, cut common time
  4. “Sanctus” Andante, G major, 3/4
    “Pleni sunt coeli et terra…” Allegro, G major, 3/4
    “Hosanna in excelsis…” Allegro, G major, 4/2
  5. “Benedictus” Andante, C major, 3/4; soloist quartet
    “Hosanna in excelsis…” Allegro, G major, 4/2
  6. “Agnus Dei” Adagio, G major, cut common time
    “Dona nobis pacem…” Allegro, G major, 3/8
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