​Musical Musings~ Reflections on Sunday’s Music

May 3, 2015
  1. Ave Verum Corpus-A moment for Mozart to experience Christ?
Mozart, to our knowledge, did not hold strong beliefs of the Christian faith throughout his life. However, during the sickness of his wife Constanze (who was pregnant with their 6th child), he composed a short Eucharistic motet titled: "Ave Verum Corpus." The text of this motet focuses on Jesus' sacrifice on the cross for all people and the symbolism of water and blood in correspondence to communion. Wolff states that this motet "foreshadows aspects of (Mozart's) Requiem such as declamatory gesture, textures, and integration of forward- and backward- looking stylistic elements." Interestingly enough, Mozart interrupted the composition of one of his most famous operas (Die Zauberflöte)  to compose this motet. Quite possibly Mozart may have been relating his spouse's suffering to his own as is was only six months before his own death. Of particular note is the last line of the text: "O sweet Jesus, O holy Jesus, O Jesus, son of Mary, have mercy on me." 

Prelude: Christ, der du bist der helle Tag (BWV 1120); Wir danken dir, Herr Jesu Christ (BWV 1096); Du Friedefuerst, Herr Jesu Christ (BWV 1102)-J.S. Bach
Postlude: "Minuet" from Music For The Royal Fireworks-Handel/Biggs

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