Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Ave verum corpus, performed by the Kosice Teachers’ Choir and Camerata Cassovia, conducted by Johannes Wildner, is featured on CD 1 in the WRTI 60th Anniversary Classical 3-CD set.
Mozart wrote this for a church musician friend of his, for the Feast of Corpus Christi. “Hail, true Body” is sung at the central moment of the Catholic liturgy, but is here so simple, so self-effacing, that it almost sneaks by. The melody is nearly too sweet, the harmonies stay put, the bass line doesn’t travel much, the voices move together. But at “May it be for us a foretaste in the trial of death,” Mozart holds back the tenors and basses—just for a space.
When they enter, oh so quietly, repeating the women’s “may it be,” Mozart’s genius detonates the mysterious celebration of the power of suffering. He wrote this in June, 1791. In December he would be dead. Ave verum corpus may be the most stunningly compact explosion of music ever composed.
Listeners may not think about the visuals in an orchestra concert, but body language is an important way in which musicians communicate with one another. From his chair, Philadelphia Orchestra Concertmaster David Kim leads Mozart’s Serenade in G Major: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik the way it would have been done in Mozart’s time, without a conductor, on January 10th, 11th, and 12th in concerts at the Kimmel Center.
The life of the popular composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart has engendered conjecture and controversy. WRTI's Susan Lewis looks at the musical rivalry between Mozart and composer Antonio Salieri, suggested in Walnut Street Theatre's production of AMADEUS.
A conversation with Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia music director Ignat Solzhenitsyn. He conducts a program featuring two of the most significant works in the symphonic repertoire this Sunday and Monday. Susan Lewis explores the power and myths of Mozart -- his ever popular 18th century music is claimed by some to do everything from alleviating learning disorders to better ripen grapes. Jason Peifer previews the American premiere of Novecento at the Lantern Theater Company.