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Missa solemnis in the style of Mozart: III. Laudamus te

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2022
5 min.

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Program Notes
This movement is part of an ongoing project: a large-scale mass where my goal is to emulate the mature church style of W.A. Mozart as accurately as possible. The work mainly draws inspiration from Mozart's largest work in the genre, the so-called "Great mass" in C minor, K. 427. "Laudamus te" is one of those sections of the mass that Mozart almost invariably sets for soloists rather than choir, both in "brevis" and "solemnis" -type masses. In a missa solemnis, the second movement of the Gloria is thus the first one entirely without choral forces. Mozart seems to prefer medium tempi (Andante, Andantino, Allegro) and the subdominant and dominant keys for this movement; I chose the F major, light-hearted Allegro and operatic style from K. 427 but decided on two soloists in a tender duet to contrast with Mozart's virtuoso soprano aria. The form I use here is one commonly found in Mozart's arias: the so-called "sonata form without development" (although, one could argue that my contrapuntal retransition is basically a short development section). Both times, the primary theme is sung by the soprano and the transitional phrase by the tenor, after which the two unite. The change of register caused by the recapitulation ending a 5th lower (or a 4th higher) than the exposition requires some clever rewriting of melodies in order to preserve a comfortable vocal range.