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Thread: What are the Happiest Sounding Masses?

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    Senior Member regenmusic's Avatar
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    Default What are the Happiest Sounding Masses?

    Which masses sound the most vibrant and happy?



    Mozart - Missa Brevis in C, K. 317 [complete] (Coronation Mass)



    W. A. Mozart - KV 66 - Mass in C major "Dominicus Messe"

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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Something in the Classical period - Haydn or Mozart. Hard to believe they took all that original sin, blood sacrifice, and eternal damnation for unbaptized infants stuff seriously when a cheerful D-Major "Kyrie" would suffice.

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Simply love the Mozart Coronation Mass. As a church organist we used parts of this for our church services (Kyrie, Gloria mostly). Performed the entire Mass at St. Peter's Basilica (Rome) in 1992 - choir of 50 voices and the Vatican pipe organ - a most wonderful experience of my life.

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    Senior Member Pugg's Avatar
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    Vivaldi's: Gloria is a good one to start .
    Last edited by Pugg; Dec-18-2016 at 06:39.
    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
    "Mahatma Gandhi"

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    Senior Member Florestan's Avatar
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    This is a pretty happy sounding mass:
    Quote Originally Posted by Couchie View Post
    There are no long Wagner operas. Only short attention spans.

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    Many of Haydn's Late Masses are happy and extroverted; at the very least they have some uplifting, extroverted sections within.

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    Guillaume DUFAY: Missa “Se la face ay pale” (1450s)
    :: Munrow/Early Music Consort of London [EMI/Virgin ’73]

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72zs8oMpShM (tracks 3–7)

    This is an outgoing and happy mass, downright festive in Munrow’s hands. Dufay uses the tenor of his own secular song (a recording of which, in four variants, is included on the album) as the cantus firmus for the entire work; the song is thought to be a wedding song, which would account for the prevailing high spirits. If Missa “Se la face ay pale” comes across from a composition standpoint as freer and more spontaneous, less rigorously prescribed and by-the-book than other Renaissance masses of the period, that’s an illusion of the “it’s so complex, it’s simple” variety meant to trick unsuspecting Renaissance rubes such as myself into liking the music. Unlike most masses, this one has a certain amount of drama to it, with the Gloria and the Credo building to climaxes of sorts. It’s all very exciting by cloistered Renaissance standards, and it must have raised some eyebrows among conservative monks of the day.

    Munrow throws in some instruments here and there, discreetly in some places, not so discreetly in others, and in a somewhat fanfare-like manner at the end of some movements. This practice is verboten in the chaste and pure musical times that we live in, but it’s certainly not counter to the spirit of this particular mass. Personally, I don’t think that the instruments are necessary, but it doesn’t bother me that they’re present—and I miss them when they’re not there when I’m listening under the influence, which is most of the time. Other accounts of the Mass—Guerber/Diabolus in Musica [Alpha] and Kirkman/Binchois Consort [Hyperion] being the best of them on record—are more refined and technically immaculate (but no more architecturally sound) than this one, but they sound relatively cautious in approach and much less festive in temperament. Munrow and company throw caution to the wind and play the Mass for the masses. Indeed, if I were introducing a newbie to the wonderful world of Renaissance masses, this would be the work and the recording that I’d begin with.

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    Senior Member TxllxT's Avatar
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    Happier you cannot get!
    All we like sheep

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    Mozart Great Mass in C minor.

    So much of Mozart's religious writing is cheerful.

    Also Haydn's late masses contain some very extroverted music.
    Last edited by hpowders; Jan-01-2017 at 16:19.

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    Oh no! Wrong thread!!!
    Last edited by hpowders; Jan-01-2017 at 22:31.

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    Obviously the Holzbauer Mass in C Major, in my opinion the greatest "happy" mass ever created.


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    Senior Member Pugg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Francis Poulenc View Post
    Obviously the Holzbauer Mass in C Major, in my opinion the greatest "happy" mass ever created.

    It really sounds good, those trumpets, thanks for sharing.
    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
    "Mahatma Gandhi"

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    Senior Member lluissineu's Avatar
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    As many have prevously said Haydn masses and first Mozart masses are very easy to listen. To me the paukenmesse (Haydn ) and The spatzenmesse (Mozart) are two of my favourites, apart from The Great mass.

    Pugg has mentioned Vivaldi's Gloria. I'd add The other Gloria (RV 588).

    Handel oratorios have many good and vibrant moments, but they're not masses (as The Glorias).

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    A lot of the Mozart, Haydn and Holzbauer Masses listed here so far are nice but they are really superficially happy (like a lot of music of the classical period) and not so much deeply (and spiritually) uplifting. Besides Bach (surprising that the B minor mass and the infectiously delightful mass in G BWV 236 have not been mentioned) one of the most accomplished composers for happy and spiritually uplifting music was Jan Dismas Zelenka. Due to the loss of many historical records there is sadly a lot of misinformation about him around on the web (e.g. that he was only called upon to compose requiems and other death-related music) and scholars nowadays are taking pains to correct the record on this remarkable composer. Over 20 of his masses have survived and many equal the quality and intensity of Bach's B minor mass or even exceed it (the B minor mass is afterall not very coherent because of the way it was constructed). There are so many great Zelenka masses to discover but a good start is the Missa Dei Filii which for me is the most happy mass ever composed by anyone. It can be heard here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiCTzSF7CR4

    Check out the gloria which starts at 07:27. By the way, this music was composed 1 year before Handel's Messiah by a composer 6 years older than Handel!

    My favourite performance of this mass was broadcast on Czech Television and can be downloaded here (before the mass is a performance of the Te Deum ZWV 146, also by Zelenka, also an absolute cracker of a composition):

    https://ulozto.net/!oOYAW4Wv24T8/jd-...351.1482954147

    If you want to hear another cool and very happy mass by Zelenka there is a beautiful new set of videos by the Daegeon Chamber Choir of his Missa Dei Patris:

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...rMgwcXiXuEeZMm

    It's pretty much all really uplifting stuff. My favourites are the "Quoniam", "Cum sancto spiritu" and "Et Resurrexit"

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    I always find Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle hugely life-affirming; it's packed full of juicy harmonies and gorgeous melodies. As my old singing teacher used to say, it's neither "petite" nor particularly "solennelle" - and, thank goodness, both his observations were true. Can't get enough of this mass.
    Last edited by Reichstag aus LICHT; Jan-08-2017 at 18:45.

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