180 Days With Mozart And Me

A Survey Of The Philips Complete Mozart Edition…From Symphonies Through Theatre And Ballet Music

180 Days With Mozart And Me header image 2

“I Don’t Care For This” (Litanies; Vespers; Oratorios, Box 11)

March 29th, 2010 · No Comments · Box 11: Mozart: Litanies; Vespers; Oratorios; Cantatas; Masonic Music, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Herbert Kegel, K109, K243, K321, Litaniae de BMV (Lauretanae), Litaniae de venerabili altaris sacramento, Mitsuko Shirai, Mozart at 15, Mozart at 20, Mozart at 23, Progressive Rock, Renate Frank-Reinecke, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Leipzig, Rundfunkchor Lepizig, Vesperae solennes de Dominica

Litanies, Vespers Box 11

My dad used to say a certain phrase whenever he encountered something he didn’t like, be it food or music or movies or weather or whatever: “I don’t care for this.” Or, “I don’t care for that.” It got to be a family joke to say, “I don’t care for it.”

That’s how I feel about today’s music: I don’t care for it.

This is very pretentious music, sort of the Classical equivalent of a progressive-rock band, say, Emerson Lake & Palmer: Bombastic. And Incredibly Important.

Don’t get me wrong. I love bombastic music. Progressive rock has been the soundtrack to my life since the early 1970s. So bombast is my friend.

But this kind of bombast is an acquired taste I haven’t yet acquired.

However, I will say this: Litaniae de venerabili altaris sacramento in E flat, K.243, Movement 2 (Panis vivus) sounds like something Andrea Bocelli might sing. Tenor Renate Frank-Reinecke has a powerful voice, able to hit the high notes, as well as dwell nicely in the lower register.

Litanies, Vespers Box 11I think I prefer male voices when there are solos to be sung. In this setting. When the massive choir breaks loose and those incredibly high female voice burst through the top, that’s cool. Very cool. But when I’m listening to a solo, many times a female soloist sounds warbly and church-ladyish. But a male voice, especially a tenor with some power and range, is nearly always a delight.

Here is what I listened to today, complete with the best guesses of scholars regarding where and when each composition was penned. This information was pieced together from The Compactothèque book + CD, which is an essential purchase if you want the fullest enjoyment from the Philips Complete Mozart Edition. It’s only about $8 and the sampler CD, alone, is remarkably enjoyable. But the booklet is gold, Jerry! Gold! Keep in mind, some of these places and dates are merely guesses. But I find it fascinating to see even guesses for some of these compositions. They help me put Mozart’s life and creative output in perspective.

For example, Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart was born on 27 January 1756. With that in mind, take a look at where and when these pieces were composed. I’ll add Mozart’s approximate age in the parenthetical data below each composition:

1. Litaniae de BMV “Lauretanae” in B flat, K.109 – 1. Kyrie (Mitsuko Shirai)
2. Litaniae de BMV “Lauretanae” in B flat, K.109 – 2. Sancta Maria
3. Litaniae de BMV “Lauretanae” in B flat, K.109 – 3. Salus infirmorum
4. Litaniae de BMV “Lauretanae” in B flat, K.109 – 4. Regina angelorum
5. Litaniae de BMV “Lauretanae” in B flat, K.109 – 5. Agnus Dei
- Salzburg, May, 1771 (Mozart was 15)

6. Litaniae de venerabili altaris sacramento in E flat, K.243 – 1. Kyrie eleison
7. Litaniae de venerabili altaris sacramento in E flat, K.243 – 2. Panis vivus (Renate Frank-Reinecke)
8. Litaniae de venerabili altaris sacramento in E flat, K.243 – 3. Verbum caro factum
9. Litaniae de venerabili altaris sacramento in E flat, K.243 – 4. Hostia sancta
10. Litaniae de venerabili altaris sacramento in E flat, K.243 – 5. Tremendum ac vivificum
11. Litaniae de venerabili altaris sacramento in E flat, K.243 – 6. Dulcissimum convivium
12. Litaniae de venerabili altaris sacramento in E flat, K.243 – 7. Viaticum in Domino morientum
13. Litaniae de venerabili altaris sacramento in E flat, K.243 – 8. Pignus futurae gloriae
14. Litaniae de venerabili altaris sacramento in E flat, K.243 – 9. Agnus Dei
15. Litaniae de venerabili altaris sacramento in E flat, K.243 – 10. Miserere
- Salzburg, March, 1776 (Mozart was 20)

6. Vesperae de Dominica in C, K.321 – 1. Dixit (Ps. 109/110) (Mitsuko Shirai)
17. Vesperae de Dominica in C, K.321 – 2. Confitebor (Ps. 110/111)
18. Vesperae de Dominica in C, K.321 – 3. Beatus vir (Ps. 111/112)
19. Vesperae de Dominica in C, K.321 – 4. Laudate pueri (Ps. 112/113) (Rundfunkchor Leipzig)
20. Vesperae de Dominica in C, K.321 – 5. Laudate Dominum (Ps. 116/117) (Mitsuko Shirai)
21. Vesperae de Dominica in C, K.321 – 6. Magnificat (Luc. 1:46-55)
- Salzburg, 1779 (Mozart was 23)

I can’t say I had a favorite. It all pretty much sounded the same. It was well recorded (especially the soloists – crystal clear). It was expertly performed. But I’m not a fan of this type of music.

We’ll see. Maybe it’ll grow on me.

Tags:

No Comments so far ↓

There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment