Mozart Masonic Music

Author: 
Christopher Headington

Mozart Masonic Music

  • O heiliges Band der Freundschaft treuer Brüder
  • Dir, Seele des Weltalls
  • Lied zur Gesellenreise
  • (Die) Maurerfreude
  • Maurerische Trauermusik, "Masonic Funeral Music"
  • Zerfliesset heut' geliebte Brüder
  • Ihr unsre neuen Leiter
  • (Eine) Kleine deutsche Kantate, '(Die) ihr des une
  • (Eine) Kleine Freimaurer-Kantate, 'Laut verkünde
  • Lasst uns mit geschlungen Händen

Freemasonry and its beliefs and sense of a human brotherhood independent of birth or wealth played an important part in the short life of this composer, who never lived to see the movement banned in Austria in the 1790s on the grounds that it was socially unsettling. Since Haydn and Beethoven also became Masons, it's clear that the secret society with its solemnities and high ideals had a special meaning to several major artists. Besides his opera Die Zauberflote, Mozart composed a number of other Masonic pieces, and this Decca issue brings together several vocal ones as well as the intensely serious Maurerische Trauermusik (''Masonic Funeral Music'') of 1785, composed a year after he became a Mason.
The performances here are dedicated and skilful under Istvan Kertesz, with the tenor soloist Werner Krenn having the right kind of warm, earnest timbre, while the recording balances the various vocal and instrumental forces well. This is a valuable reissue of unusual repertory at mid price.'

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