The Magnificat, by M.A. Charpentier, seems to be written in a late period for the Saint Chapelle. The composition revives a form, the one of a chaconne on a bass, already used by Italian polyphonists in the first half of the 1500’s and by Spanish Renaissance musicians.
The bass in the Magnificat is repeated for 89 times and above it there is the development of the voices and instruments’ counterpoint in a crescendo which culminates with the words “Gloria patri, Gloria filio, Gloria Spiritui Santo”. There are only few examples of bass in the French music of that time and the Magnificat is a true masterpiece of this genre.
Motto with four male voices composed in 1833, it expresses the feeling of the serene contemplation of death: the text is taken from John’s Apocalypse: “Blessed the dead people who die in the Lord, the Holy Spirit tells that they shall rest in peace, because their works follow them”.
The responsorial and the hymn opera 121 by Mendelssohn date back to 1833 but they were published only posthumously. The composition, for three or four male voices, needs a continuous bass sustained by the cello. Similarly to Bach’s cantata – chorals, Mendelssohn first develops the three choir parts, like a fuga. Follows a prayer enriched by the technique used by the Italian Maestri of the XVII Century. The responsorial text, sang by a bass voice, brings to the final hymn harmonized following the rules of the Protestant’s choral.
The “Fest – Cantata” was commissioned to Bruckner
by bishop Rudigier to inaugurate the new cathedral in Linz (1st
The cantata, originally written for male choir and wind instruments, was then transcripted for voices and organ by Karl Etti and is still performed in this way.
The five small parts of the Cantata, varying both in organic and in texts, are deeply related to the “Preiset denn Herrn” which opens and closes the Opera.