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Title:Mozart's Late Liturgical Compositional Method: The Mass in C minor, K. 427 and the Mass Movement Fragments, 1779-1791
Author(s):Rice, Susan L.
Director of Research:Kinderman, William A.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Kinderman, William A.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Alwes, Chester L.; Moersch, Charlotte Mattax; Taylor, Stephen A.
Department / Program:Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
compositional method
mass movement fragments
Mass in C minor, K. 427
autograph revisions
Abstract:ABSTRACT Popular lore about Wolfgang Mozart’s creative process has promoted the idea that his music was divinely inspired, effortlessly conceived and flawlessly notated. On the contrary, the evidence of his manuscript sources - surviving sketches, fragments and the autograph scores - attests to a compositional method that included distinct notational phases and meticulous revision. Examination of these sources has also led to some changes in our understanding of the chronology of Mozart’s music. With the exception of the unfinished Mass in C minor, K. 427, the Requiem and the motet Ave verum corpus, Mozart’s liturgical compositions have been traditionally consigned to the Salzburg years; however, supported by more than thirty years of research contributed by Wolfgang Plath, Alan Tyson, Monika Holl and Ulrich Konrad, five isolated mass movement fragments have been situated within the final half-decade of Mozart’s life. The existence of these fragments motivates my examination of Mozart’s approach to liturgical composition during the Vienna decade, whereby I focus specifically on his revisions to the extant scores in an attempt to reveal the manner in which he sought to refine his musical ideas and meet his aesthetic goals. In order to ensure a relatively homogeneous sample, the pool has been limited to mass movements, complete or fragmentary, dated 1779 or later, scored for chorus and orchestra, and for which the autographs have survived. The fragmentary Kyrie, K. Anh. 12 of early 1779 and Sanctus, K6 296c, placed in 1779/80, both in E-flat major, are included in this examination as a first pillar for study and comparison. The choral movements of the Mass in C minor, K. 427, dated to the early years of Mozart’s Vienna decade, represent the second pillar in this study. Finally, the five extant mass movement fragments dated to the last half-decade of Mozart’s life stand as a third pillar. Four are incomplete settings of the Kyrie text (K. Anh. 16 in G major, K. Anh 14 in D major, K. Anh. 13 and K. Anh. 15, both in C major); the remaining setting is the Gloria in C major, K. Anh. 20. The study unfolds in four stages. Chapter 1 provides the historical background necessary to an examination of sacred music and its role in Mozart’s life during his Vienna decade. Chapters 2 and 3 provide analyses of the musical examples, addressing structural and formal characteristics, as well as examinations of the autograph scores. Chapter 4 isolates the revisions Mozart made to each of the scores and examines them from a number of vantage points: instrumentation, compositional structure and the resultant primary and secondary influences on the musical material. Finally, Chapter 5 offers a summation of the evidence regarding Mozart’s notational practices and stylistic ideals.
Issue Date:2011-05-25
Rights Information:
Copyright 2011 Susan L. Rice
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-25
Date Deposited:2011-05

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