Hyperion Records

Missa canonica
EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Missa canonica, although mainly composed in 1856 (on the back of swapping polyphonic exercises with Joachim), was not published until a century later; moreover, the Mass was not performed until 1983. The piece was written as a technical exercise for Brahms’s own musical health, although that does not detract from its considerable artistic merit. The Missa canonica does not include settings of the Gloria and Credo (these texts are longer and more dramatic than those of the other movements of the Ordinary of the Mass and are consequently less appropriate vehicles for the working out of the purely abstract form of canon). The short Mass setting that remains is a testament to Brahms’s compositional craft, his deft handling of voices in combination, and his enormous respect for the polyphonic masterpieces written by the great contrapuntalists of the late Renaissance and the High Baroque. In 1857 Brahms replaced the Kyrie with a new one and set about trying to secure a performance of the Mass. However, even though Julius Grimm—a choirmaster in Göttingen—showed interest, Grimm could not secure a performance. Brahms put the manuscript away and concentrated on writing other music: consequently the Missa canonica lay undisturbed until it was rediscovered in the mid-twentieth century. The only indication that Brahms himself never completely forgot about his canonic Mass comes in the form of a self-quotation in the middle movements of the motet Op 74 No 1.

from notes by Jeremy Summerly © 2006

Track-specific metadata
Click track numbers opposite to select

Details for CDA67559 track 4
Agnus Dei
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-06-55904
Duration
3'48
Recording date
14 July 2005
Recording venue
Westminster Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Julian Millard
Hyperion usage
  1. Brahms & Rheinberger: Mass (CDA67559)
    Disc 1 Track 4
    Release date: June 2006
   English   Français   Deutsch