Messa (Puccini)

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Giacomo Puccini's Messa or Messa a quattro voci (currently more widely known under the apocryphal name of Messa di Gloria)[1] is a Mass composed for orchestra and four-part choir with tenor, bass and baritone soloists. Strictly speaking, the piece is a full Mass, not a true Messa di Gloria (which contains only the Kyrie and Gloria and omits the Credo, Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei).

Puccini composed the Mass as his graduation exercise from the Istituto Musicale Pacini. It had its first performance in Lucca on July 12, 1880. However, the Credo had already been written and performed in 1878 and was initially conceived by Puccini as a self-contained work. Puccini never published the full manuscript of the Messa, and although well received at the time, it was not performed again until 1952 (first in Chicago and then in Naples). However, he re-used some of its themes in other works, such as the Agnus Dei in his opera Manon Lescaut and the Kyrie in Edgar.

At the end of World War II, Fr. Dante Del Fiorentino purchased an old copy of the manuscript of the Messa from the Vandini family in Lucca, imagining it was the original score. However, the autograph, in the possession of the Puccini family, was given by his daughter-in-law to Ricordi, Puccini's publishing firm. The ensuing legal battle was finally resolved by dividing the rights to the work between Ricordi and Mills Music (the publishers of Fiorentino's manuscript).[citation needed]

Structure[edit]

Mouvement Timing Title Mouvement indication Solo
Kyrie
5 min.
Kyrie eleison Larghetto
Gloria
20 min.
Gloria in excelsis Deo Allegro ma non troppo
Et in terra pax Andante
Laudamus te, benedicimus te Andante
Gratias agimus tibi Andante sostenuto tenor
Gloria in excelsis Deo Tempo I
Domine Deus Andante sostenuto
Qui tollis peccata mundi Andante mosso
Quoniam tu solus sanctus Maestoso
Cum Sancto Spiritu Fugue (Allegro)
Credo
16 min.
Credo in unum Deum Andante
Et incarnatus Moderato tenor
Crucifixus Adagio
Et resurrexit Allegro
Et in Spiritum Sanctum Tempo I
Et unam sanctam catholicam Larghetto
Et vitam venturi saeculli Andantino
Sanctus - Benedictus
3 min. 40 s
Sanctus Andante
Benedictus Andantino baritone
Agnus Dei
2 min. 40 s
Agnus Dei Andantino tenor, baritone

Recordings[edit]

  • Martin Elmquist (cond.), Marcello Bedoni (tenor), Jeff Speres (baritone), Luxembourg Philarmonia, Classico, 2010
  • Karl Rathgeber (cond.), Bernhard Schneider (tenor), Christian Schmidt-Timmermann (baritone), Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, 2006
  • Ingo Schulz (cond.), Daniel Magdal (tenor), Stefan Stoll (baritone), Ölberg chor, 2004
  • Pier Giorgio Morandi (cond.), Antonello Palombi (tenor), Gunnar Lundberg (baritone), Hungarian Opera Orchestra and Radio Choir, Naxos, 2002
  • Jürgen Budday (cond.), Willi Stein (tenor), Thomas Pfeiffer (baritone), Kantorei Maulbronn (Choir), South West German Radio Baden-Baden and Freiburg Symphony Orchestra, K&K Verlagsanstalt, 2001
  • Wilfried Maier (cond.), Rolph Romei (tenor), Guillermo Anzorena (baritone), Schwäbischer Sängerbund, Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen, 1999
  • Volker Hempfling (cond.), Kölner Philarmonie, Motette Records, 1995
  • András Ligeti (cond.), Dénes Gulyas (tenor), Balazs Poka (baritone), Chœurs de la Radio-Télévision Hongroise, Orchestre Symphonique de Budapest, Hungaroton Classic, 1992
  • Eliahu Inbal (cond.), Kari Lövaas (soprano),[2] Werner Hollweg (tenor), Barry McDaniel, Chor des Westdeutschen Rundfunks, Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Frankfurt, Philips Classics, 1975

Score[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The mistaken title, Messa di Gloria, was first used in 1951 by the publishers of the first printed edition, Mills Music of New York. See Michele Girardi, Puccini: His International Art, University of Chicago Press, 2002, p. 17. ISBN 0-226-29757-8
  2. ^ Le solo des soprani du Qui tollis peccata mundi est ici chanté par une soprano solo.

Further sources