On Saturday 12 August Queensland Symphony Orchestra, accompanied by The Australian Voices and starring four remarkable singers, will perform what is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful of Mozart’s Masses.
Mozart’s Mass in C minor is a particular joy for the soprano voice with acclaimed Australian performers Siobhan Stagg and Barbara Zavros set to relish the roles. They will be joined by tenor Paul McMahon, baritone David Wakeham and The Australian Voices.
Mozart’s Mass in C minor is one of the composer’s most ambitious religious works and merits comparison with Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis and Bach’s B minor Mass. Mozart’s Mass in C minor was included in the soundtrack for the Academy Award-nominated feature, The Triplets of Belleville (aka Belleville Rendez-vous in the UK – 2003 animated comedy). It is also featured in the 1957 French film A Man Escaped, and of course the 1984 blockbuster, Amadeus.
Unusually The Great Mass was not a commission for Mozart; it was written for his own musical pleasure, and begun, in part, as a celebration of his marriage to Constanze who was one of the soloists in an early performance. The combination of the this masterful piece together with the the wit and brilliance of Beethoven’s First Symphony on Saturday 12 August in Brisbane’s stunning Concert Hall, will create an evening to remember.
Saturday 12 August from 7.30pm, Concert Hall, QPAC (QSO Choral Series)
MOZART: GREAT C MINOR MASS
Conductor Alondra de la Parra Soprano Siobhan Stagg Soprano Barbara Zavros Tenor Paul McMahon
Baritone David Wakeham, The Australian Voices, Dir Gordon Hamilton
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at a glance:
- Born in Salzburg in 1756, Mozart is now recognised as one of the greatest classical composers of all time, with repertoire spanning opera to symphonies. He died in Vienna in 1791 at the age of 35.
- Mozart was a master of every type of music he wrote. He was a child star, one of the greatest pianists of his generation, and the most well-known composer in Europe by the age of 20. (Allman, Barbara. Musical Genius: A Story about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda Books, Inc., 2004.)
- Among Mozart’s prolific musical creations are 41 symphonies, 27 piano concertos, five violin concertos, 27 concert arias, 23 string quartets, 18 masses and 22 operas. (Vernon, Roland. Introducing Mozart. Parsippany, NJ: Silver Burdett Press, 1996)
- By the age of three, Mozart had learned to play clavier, which was an old fashioned string instrument that had a keyboard. By the age of five, he was playing the harpsichord and violin. He was playing in front of royalty when he was just six years old. He was a rare musical genius. (Salvi, Francesco. Mozart and Classical Music (Masters of Music). Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educational Series, Inc., 1997)
- By the age of six, Mozart was writing his own compositions. (Hartston, William. ‘Top 10 Facts about Mozart.’ Express. January 27, 2017)
- Mozart wrote his first opera, Mitridate re di Ponto, in 1770 when he was only 14 years old. It was a triumph when performed in Milan in December 1770. (McDonough, Yona Zeldis. Who Was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart? New York, NY: Grosset & Dunlap, 2003.)
- Mozart wrote half the number of total symphonies he would create between the ages of eight and 19. (Allman, Barbara. Musical Genius: A Story about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda Books, Inc., 2004.)
- While visiting the Vatican, Mozart heard Gregorio Allegri’s Miserere performed in the Sistine Chapel. He was able to write out the entire score from memory. Previously, the music had not been reproduced outside the Vatican. (Salvi, Francesco. Mozart and Classical Music (Masters of Music). Hauppage, NY: Barron’s Educational Series, Inc., 1997.)
- In April 1787, while Mozart was working under Emperor Joseph II, a young Ludwig van Beethoven, then aged 16, arrived in Vienna hoping to study under Mozart – no one is sure whether the two famous composers ever met. (Solomon, Maynard. Mozart: A Life. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 1995)
- The Magic Flute was the last opera Mozart composed, it was premiered on 30 September 1791 – roughly three months before he died. Mozart conducted the orchestra, while the librettist, Emanuel Schikaneder, sang the role of Papageno. (Classic FM – www.classicfm.com./composers/mozart/pictures/mozarts-15-birthday-facts)
- One of Mozart’s most popular compositions, the Clarinet Concert in A major, features in films including The King’s Speech, 27 Dresses and Out of Africa. (Classic FM – www.classicfm.com./composers/mozart/pictures/mozarts-15-birthday-facts)