Thursday, January 02, 2014

Benediction in Salzburg and the Vienna Philharmonic at Papal Mass

Here are some photographs of Benediction following Solemn Mass last Sunday at St Sebastian's Church in Salzburg. The celebrant was Fr Daniel Kretschmar F.S.S.P.

During the Mass, after the Elevation, the choir sang the Christmas hymn 'Christe redemptor omnium' which is surely one of the most beautiful melodies in the entire Gregorian repertory. The niche in the centre of the Altar revolves to one of three positions, exposing separately the Tabernacle, Crucifix or Monstrance. In these photos you can see the latter two 'settings'. Outside the church in its famous cemetery lie the remains of Mozart's widow Constanza (who remarried hence the name Nissen) and his father Leopold.

Continuing the Austrian theme, a reader has sent in a link to the video below of Pontifical Mass at St Peter's celebrated by Pope John Paul II on the Feast of SS Peter & Paul in 1985. The most incredible musical forces were assembled: the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna Singverein, along with soloists Kathleen Battle, Trudeliese Schmidt, Ferruccio Furlanetto and Gosta Winbergh, conducted by the legendary Herbert von Karajan. They performed Mozart's Coronation Mass complete: Kyrie (3.32), Gloria (7.02), Credo (16.16), Sanctus (29.36), Agnus Dei (40.36) and also Mozart's 'Ave verum' (48.24). And not to be outdone, the Sistine Choir is on good form too, singing a beautiful rendition of Bartolucci's 'O sacrum convivium' after the dismissal (53.36) during which Pope John Paul goes over to thank the Austrian maestro (53.58). The Deacon chants the Gospel exquisitely too (12.17).

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