Thursday, 11 September 2008

164. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Ave Verum Corpus (1791)


Performers: Wiener Sangerknaben, Chorus Viennensis
Director: Peter Marschik
Year: 1994
Length: 2 minutes 46 seconds


Wow, this is probably the tiniest pieces of music that we have had on this list yet. Shorter than three minutes it doesn't even get to pop-music length. That said it isn't size that matters, or else Couperin's 27 Ordres would be beating this list hands down, and they aren't.

Ok, so it is a lovely piece of Choral music. It is very lovely, very short, and very classical. We have had few chances to listen to classical sacred music here, and this short choral piece is a true gem.

There is just such emotion crammed into this short little song, it is difficult to stick so many different feelings in such a short place, from sadness to hopefulness it is all here. It is a tribute to Mozart's emotional skill.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's setting of Ave verum corpus (K. 618) was written for Anton Stoll (a friend of his and Haydn's) who was musical co-ordinator in the parish of Baden, near Vienna. It was composed to celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi and the autograph is dated 17 June 1791. It is only forty-six bars long and is scored for choir, stringed instruments, and organ. Mozart's manuscript itself contains minimal directions, with only a single sotto voce at the beginning.
Mozart composed this motet while in the middle of writing his opera Die Zauberflöte, and while visiting his wife Constanze, who was pregnant with their sixth child and staying in a spa near Baden. It was less than six months before Mozart's death.

Bernstein conducts a slightly longer version of the Ave Verum Corpus:

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