Summer Festival of Sacred Music at St. Bart's Continues with Mozart's CORONATION on 9/7

The Summer Festival of Sacred Music at St. Bart's continues on Sunday, September 7 at 11 am with a service featuring Mozart's "Coronation" Mass with the combined choirs of St. Bartholomew's Church and an orchestra of period instruments.

In 1779, Mozart returned to Salzburg from a disastrous trip in Paris and, to please his father (and out of material necessity), he secured a position in the Archbishop's service in Salzburg. He was to "begrudgingly and with great diligence discharge his duties both in the cathedral and at court and in the chapel house, and as occasion presents, to provide the court and church with new compositions of his own creation." Mozart first fulfilled this latter requirement by composing the Missa in C, K. 317 for Easter Day, April 1779.

The work is in a hybrid form preferred by the Archbishop: the inclusion of wind instruments suggests a "Solemn Mass" but its brevity suggests a "Short Mass." The nickname, "Coronation," grew from the misguided belief that Mozart had written the Mass for Salzburg's annual "crowning" celebration at the Shrine of the Virgin. The more likely explanation is that it was one of the works performed during the coronation festivities in Prague, either for Leopold II in August 1791, or for his successor Francis I in August 1792.

St. Bartholomew's Boy and Girl Choristers, St. Bart's Singers and St. Bartholomew's Choir will be accompanied by an orchestra of period instruments conducted by William K. Trafka.

The Summer Festival of Sacred Music now in its 20th season, takes place each Sunday morning at11 am at St. Bartholomew's Church during the summer months. At a time when most churches reduce their musical offerings, St. Bartholomew's Church provides outstanding sacred music sung by St. Bartholomew's Choir and Boy and Girl Choristers, two of New York City's most renowned choirs. Works include an array of mass settings from the 15th century to the present embracing a diversity of cultures from around the world. The music is sung as part of the 11 am service, the liturgical context for which it was composed. All Summer Festival events are free and open to the public.

The Summer Festival of Sacred Music takes place at St. Bartholomew's Church at the corner of Park Avenue and 51st Street. Subway: 6 to 51st Street. For more information, call (212) 378-0222 or visit our website for the complete schedule.

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