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Music fit for an Emperor!


Nota Bene is delighted to treat you to a concert of Mozart’s sacred choral music.

The Coronation Mass was composed in 1779 on Mozart’s return to Salzburg from an 18-month trip to Paris and Mannheim in a failed attempt to find a job. His father got him a job as court organist and composer at the Salzburg Cathedral. The mass was most likely premiered on Easter Sunday, but the first documented performance was at the coronation of Francis II as Holy Roman Emperor in 1792.

The mass appears to have acquired the nickname Kronungsmesse (Coronation Mass) at the imperial court in Vienna in the early nineteenth century after becoming the preferred music for royal and imperial coronations (so our concert is well timed!)

There is a beautiful contrast between soloists and the choir, with a gorgeous soprano solo in the Agnus Dei, which has strong similarities to the Dove Sono aria from the later opera Le Nozze di Figaro.

Mozart’s final choral work for the Salzburg Cathedral was the Vesperae Solennes. Composed in 1780, the work stylistically mixes counterpoint in the ‘old church style’ with the more modern homophonic and melodic style. This contrast is most striking in the shift from the counterpoint of the Laudate pueri to the melodic Laudate dominum.

Mozart was proud of this composition as, after moving to Vienna, he asked his father to send copies so that he could show them to Baron van Swieten, who was introducing Mozart to contrapuntal works of Bach and Handel.


3pm, 14 May 2023 at St Andrews on the Terrace


Directed by Maaike Christie-Beekman.

Accompanying Nota Bene on the organ in this feast of Mozart is Max Toth, the Richard Prothero Organ Scholar at the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul.

Soloists: Alex Gandionco (soprano), Kate Manahi (alto), Bayley Goldstone (tenor), Joe Haddow (bass).

Tickets: on sale at Humanitix and at the door

$30 general admission; $25 concession

Early bird special - book before 8 May and get a general admission ticket at the concession price, $25.

Schoolchildren free 

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