Mass No. 1 (Schubert)

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Mass No. 1
by Franz Schubert
Lichtental Parish Church. The mass was composed for the church's centennial.
KeyF major
CatalogueD 105
FormMissa solemnis
Composed1814 (1814)
Performed25 September 1814 (1814-09-25): Lichtental
VocalSATB choir and soloists
Instrumentalorchestra and organ

Mass No. 1 in F major, D 105, is a mass composed by Franz Schubert in 1814. It is scored for two soprano soloists, two tenor soloists, alto and bass soloists, SATB choir, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, 2 horns, violin I and II, viola, and basso continuo (cello, double bass and organ). It was the first of Schubert's masses to be performed,[1] and is of the missa solemnis type.[2]


Portrait of Franz Schubert by Franz Eybl (1827)

The mass was composed for the centennial celebration of the parish church of Lichtental, now part of Vienna.[1] The Schuberts' family church, it is also known as Schubertkirche (Schubert church).[3] Schubert received an invitation to compose a mass for the anniversary in May 1814.[4] The premiere was conducted on 25 September with an estimated 62 performers, a large contingent for contemporary performances.[4] The composer's brother Ferdinand played the organ, Michael Holzer served as choirmaster, Joseph Mayseder served as concertmaster, Therese Grob sang the soprano solo, and Schubert conducted.[5] Schubert's teacher Antonio Salieri may have attended the premiere; afterwards, he is said to have embraced his student with the words "der mir noch viele Ehre machen wird" ("You will bring me yet more honour").[6]

Ferdinand wrote that a second performance took place ten days later at St Augustine's Court Church, before a prestigious audience that may have included foreign dignitaries.[5]

Schubert's love for Therese Grob may have been kindled during the writing of this mass.[7] The prominent first soprano solo, with its high tessitura, was designed to showcase her voice.[5][8]

Schubert composed an alternative Dona nobis pacem, D 185, in April 1815. This may have been composed for a service during the public outcry over Napoleon's escape from Elba;[8] alternatively, it may have been for a second performance of the mass at the Lichtental church on Trinity Sunday.[4] It replaces a shorter, less fugal section in the 1814 version.


The piece is divided into six movements. Performances require approximately 40 minutes. Notes are based on Schubert's 1815 revision.

  1. "Kyrie" Larghetto, F major, 6/8
  2. "Gloria" Allegro vivace, C major, cut common time
    "Gratias agimus tibi..." Andante con moto, F major, 3/4; STB soloists
    "Domine Deus, Rex coelestis..." choir
    "Domine Deus, Agnus Dei..." Adagio, D minor, common time; SATB soloists and choir
    "Quoniam tu solus sanctus..." Allegro, C major, common time
    "Cum sancto spiritu..." Allegro vivace, C major, cut common time
  3. "Credo" Andantino, F major, 3/4
  4. "Sanctus" Adagio maestoso, F major, common time
  5. "Benedictus" Andante con moto, B-flat major, 3/4; soprano and tenor quartette
  6. "Agnus Dei" Adagio molto, F minor, common time
    "Dona nobis pacem..." Allegro molto, F major, 6/8


  1. ^ a b Gibbs, Christopher H. (1997). The Cambridge Companion to Schubert. Cambridge Companions to Music. p. 209. ISBN 9780521484244.
  2. ^ Shrock, Dennis (2009). Choral Repertoire. p. 383. ISBN 9780199716623.
  3. ^ "Geschichte der Pfarre Lichtental|" (in German).
  4. ^ a b c Howie, Crawford (2008). "Small is beautiful: Schubert's smaller sacred works". In Reul, Barbara M.; Bodley, Lorraine Byrne (eds.). The Unknown Schubert. p. 66. ISBN 9780754661924.
  5. ^ a b c Gibbs, Christopher H. (2000). The Life of Schubert. p. 40. ISBN 9780521595124.
  6. ^ Newbould, Brian (1999). Schubert: The Music and the Man. p. 36. ISBN 9780520219571.
  7. ^ Reed, John (1997). The Schubert Song Companion. p. 252. ISBN 9781901341003.
  8. ^ a b Black, Leo (2003). Franz Schubert: Music and Belief. p. 32. ISBN 9781843831358.

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