Hyperion Records

Mass No 3 in F minor
composer
September 1867 - September 1868
author of text
Ordinary of the Mass

Recordings
'Bruckner: Mass in F minor & Psalm 150' (CDH55332)
Bruckner: Mass in F minor & Psalm 150
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55332  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
'Bruckner: Masses' (CDS44071/3)
Bruckner: Masses
MP3 £15.00FLAC £15.00ALAC £15.00Buy by post £16.50 CDS44071/3  3CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
Details
Movement 1: Kyrie
Track 1 on CDH55332 [9'47] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Track 1 on CDS44071/3 CD3 [9'47] 3CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 2a: Gloria
Track 2 on CDH55332 [3'00] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Track 2 on CDS44071/3 CD3 [3'00] 3CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 2b: Qui tollis
Track 3 on CDH55332 [4'03] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Track 3 on CDS44071/3 CD3 [4'03] 3CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 2c: Quoniam tu solus sanctus
Track 4 on CDH55332 [1'27] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Track 4 on CDS44071/3 CD3 [1'27] 3CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 2d: In gloria Dei Patris
Track 5 on CDH55332 [2'54] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Track 5 on CDS44071/3 CD3 [2'54] 3CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 3a: Credo
Track 6 on CDH55332 [2'16] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Track 6 on CDS44071/3 CD3 [2'16] 3CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 3b: Et incarnatus est
Track 7 on CDH55332 [3'35] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Track 7 on CDS44071/3 CD3 [3'35] 3CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 3c: Crucifixus
Track 8 on CDH55332 [4'02] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Track 8 on CDS44071/3 CD3 [4'02] 3CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 3d: Et resurrexit
Track 9 on CDH55332 [3'25] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Track 9 on CDS44071/3 CD3 [3'25] 3CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 3e: Et in Spiritum Sanctum
Movement 3f: Et exspecto resurrectionem
Track 11 on CDH55332 [3'53] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Track 11 on CDS44071/3 CD3 [3'53] 3CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 4: Sanctus
Movement 5: Benedictus
Movement 6: Agnus Dei

Mass No 3 in F minor
EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
From 1861 Bruckner had studied under Otto Kitzler, a German cellist and conductor, gaining a thorough grounding in the counterpoint of Palestrina and for the first time hearing some Liszt and Wagner. Kitzler’s production of Tannhäuser bowled him over, and when he visited Munich for the premiere of Tristan und Isolde and met Wagner in person, his joy was complete. Then, in 1867, tragedy struck. Bruckner had long suffered from extended bouts of depression, combined with an almost pathological self-doubt and an irresistible impulse to accumulate strings of unnecessary qualifications. He developed the clinical condition of numeromania, a compulsive urge to count objects of all descriptions for no apparent reason. He was admitted to a sanatorium at Bad Kreuzen where he underwent a course of treatment lasting several months. It was in thanksgiving for his restoration of health that he set to work on the Mass No 3 in F minor which occupied him for exactly a year from September 1867.

Like the Mass in D minor of four years earlier, it calls for soprano, contralto, tenor and bass soloists, mixed chorus, organ and a large orchestra, and it caused horror among the Cecilians for whom he had written his second Mass, that in E minor. But the F minor is his biggest and greatest Mass, classical in form but injected with a new vitality and a profound religious mysticism, setting the familiar text with total commitment.

The Mass begins quietly with a descending four-note figure which dominates the Kyrie and reappears as a unifying motif in other parts of the work; the reticence of this humble plea for divine mercy does not, however, preclude climactic points and moments of fervour. The ‘Christe eleison’ which follows employs two main ideas—a falling octave and a more lyrical phrase entrusted to the soprano soloist; the soarings of the solo violin recall the Benedictus of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis.

The Gloria and Credo form the central core of the Mass. Close in spirit to the Te Deum and Psalm 150, they proclaim a triumphant C major, though not, of course, without modulatory excursions to other keys and transient changes of mood dictated by the text. Both were conceived in the general terms of sonata form, with contrasting material, development and reprise; and both finish with massive fugues. The opening themes are rooted in Gregorian chant, as is the melody in the Sanctus at the words ‘Pleni sunt coeli et terra gloria tua’. The shortest movement is the Sanctus, similar in mood to the ‘Christe eleison’ of the Kyrie and making use of the falling octave. The ‘Hosanna’ is repeated at the close of the ensuing Benedictus, whose second melody, introduced by the bass soloist, is quoted in the Adagio of the second symphony and may well have influenced Mahler when he was working on his fourth. The Agnus Dei draws freely on earlier material, recalling the main ideas in the Kyrie and the fugue subject from the Gloria which now carries the words ‘dona nobis pacem’. The final phrase of the Credo theme appears in augmentation and in the last two bars a single oboe, accompanied by pianissimo strings over a discreet rumble on a kettledrum, plays a major-key version of the motif with which the whole work began.

Bruckner completed the Mass in 1868 but it took several revisions before, in 1881, it reached its ‘authentic’ form. Even then he was not entirely satisfied. With the help of a pupil, Joseph Schalk, he revised it further between 1890 and 1893.

from notes by Wadham Sutton © 1992

Track-specific metadata
Click track numbers opposite to select

Details for CDH55332 track 3
Movement 2b: Qui tollis
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-92-59903
Duration
4'03
Recording date
8 February 1992
Recording venue
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Bruckner: Mass in F minor & Psalm 150 (CDA66599)
    Disc 1 Track 3
    Release date: November 1992
    Deletion date: October 2007
    Superseded by CDH55332
  2. Bruckner: Mass in F minor & Psalm 150 (CDH55332)
    Disc 1 Track 3
    Release date: September 2011
    Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
  3. Bruckner: Masses (CDS44071/3)
    Disc 3 Track 3
    Release date: November 1996
    3CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
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