December 21, 2018 at 18.00 in Tallinn St. John’s Church
This year’s Chirstmas Concert presents Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Vesperae solennes de confessore”, K. 339 as its highlight performed by the soloists, chorus and orchestra of the Estonian National Opera. In addition Tchaikovsky’s “Preghiera” from the suite “Mozartiana”, Nocturne No. 4, Op. 19, Sarastro’s aria “In diesen heil’gen Hallen” from Mozart’s opera “The Magic Flute as well as many well-known Christmas carols will be performed.
“Vesperae solennes de confessore”, K. 339, was composed for liturgical use in the Salzburg Cathedral (1780). The title “de confessore” was added by a later hand to his manuscript. It suggests that the work was intended for vespers held on a specific day on the liturgical calendar of saints (“confessors”). Although the finishing and premiere date of the work is not known, it is suggested that it was composed for the patron saint of Salzburg, St. Rupert. “Vesperae” was Mozart’s last liturgical work as the court musician of the Salzburg Archbishop Hieronymus Colloredo in 1773–1781.
The text consists of five Psalms and the “Magnificat” canticle that concludes every Vespers service. As required by Archbishop Colloredo, each Psalm is set as a continuous movement, as opposed to being divided into separate arias, ensembles, and choruses in the operatic style invading church music at that time. The most operatic is the lyric soprano solo of “Laudate Dominum” that is often performed as a separate piece.
Mozart’s relations to the church were not very strong, therefore religious music is one of the less important part of his output. Altogether he has written 17 masses. After the “Vesperae”, he began yet two more liturgical works that remained unfinished: Mass in C minor and Requiem.