11 Replies to “Mozart Is the New Black”

  1. It would look more or less the same – check out the Requiem Mass in the Stephansdom two years ago for Otto von Habsburg, although there is a greater likelihood nowadays of its being an EF Mass. Notice at the beginning Cardinal Groer bows to the Chancellor, Kurt Waldheim; both men would subsequently leave office in disgrace.

  2. Missy, I have the DVD of that Mass and the young choir and orchestra perform with great verve and precision. I also like the way that the primary focus is on the liturgical action. According to the custom of the time, Mozart would have had a Low Mass in a side chapel of the cathedral before his interment, which by the way was NOT in a pauper's grave – Constanze paid for what was called a third class funeral, which was standard for middle-class and middle-income families; Joseph II, who had died only the year before, had banned elaborate funerals. Four days later, on 10 December 1791, a sung Requiem Mass was celebrated in a nearby church, with many of the late composer's colleagues and friends in attendance, and the completed parts of the Requiem were sung.

  3. A strange event: the ceremonies are quite solemn, with two deacons, two concelebrants plus the archbishop, plenty of acolytes, etc. But it was essentially a low Mass–not a note was sung by the clergy or the congregation, but rather versicles and responses were in German. Likewise, the music was framed as if in a concert, that is, the introit was not sung during the entrance procession, but only after the archbishop had made the sign of the cross and spoken an introduction; then everyone sat down and listened to the introit. The Agnus Dei was sung during the communion, which is a commonplace with orchestral Masses in Austria. the ordinary form (new rite) could well have been sung in Latin by the celebrant and ministers. The filming of the event responded to the fact that what the clergy did was underwhelming and so showed the performance of the music; as a musician, I was interested to see Solti conducting, but it made hash of the event as a liturgy.

  4. Indeed, Dr Mahrt. I suspect the fact that the Introit and Kyrie are essentially one movement might have something to do with it. Yet at Otto v. Habsburg's Requiem the Introit and Kyrie (Michael Haydn) were sung during the entrance procession. In the 2002 Poznan (EF) Requiem the Introit is not begun until the celebrant has ascended to the altar and begun to read the Introit. Whenever I have sung at an EF Requiem Mass we usually start the Introit as the celebrant begins the PATFOTA.

    Mozart's Requiem must be the only regularly performed work by a great composer where we are certain he did not write most of it, and have little idea of who composed the rest.

  5. Professor, how would one order the Mozart Requiem within the structure of the OF? Dies irae</> would seem to have no place?
    I congratulate Jeffrey's wit in the title of this article, but beyond the pun, "Mozart's" Requiem isn't the "new black," the chanted Requiem is so ordered as to fulfil that which is old becomes new again.

  6. Thank you, Dr. Mahrt, for always bringing us back to the understanding of what a solemn/sung Mass actually is.

  7. I have attended many sung Requiems in the OF over the last 40 years and they have usually included the Dies Irae, sung after the Tract. Incidentally, I have rarely heard the Alleluia replace the Tract, although strictly speaking this should happen outside Lent. Sequences are not too much of a problem with the OF (although the GIRM instruction that the Sequence precede the Alleluia makes no sense liturgically or musically, and the Graduale has them in the correct order). The main problem is the Sanctus/Benedictus, since the OF requires they be sung in their entirety before the celebrant commences the Eucharistic Prayer. However, the OF is only one option out of two (or three if you are an Ordinariate priest) and is by no means the be-all and end-all liturgically speaking – it has a patrimony of less than half a century, and in that time has attracted more informed criticism than what we now call the EF did in half a millennium.

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