In August 1777, Mozart, desperate to leave Salzburg, petitioned the Archbishop to allow him and his father to seek their fortunes elsewhere. The Archbishop’s response was sharp. He dismissed both of them from his service, though he later relented and allowed Leopold to keep his post of deputy Kapellmeister. Mozart probably composed Sancta Maria, mater Dei
, K273 (dated 9 September 1777) for the Feast of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, perhaps as a votive offering to the Virgin prior to his setting out with his mother on their journey to Paris. Disarmingly simple, yet perfectly balanced in its thematic development and variety, the charming chorus lines are provided with an orchestral accompaniment which is highly independent.
from notes by Robert King © 2006