New Completion of Mozart Mass Premieres at Carnegie Hall

Classic Arts News   New Completion of Mozart Mass Premieres at Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall presents the world premiere of a new completion of Mozart's Mass in C minor by scholar Robert Levin tonight.

The performance, conducted by Helmuth Rilling, is the culmination of the annual Carnegie Hall Choral Workshop, founded by Robert Shaw 15 years ago. Participants in the workshop will sing the Mass after six days of rehearsals led by Rilling. New York's Orchestra of St. Luke's will accompany them.

Soloists include sopranos Juliane Banse and Marlis Peterson, tenor James Taylor, and bass-baritone Nathan Berg.

Levin's completion of the Mass was commissioned by Carnegie Hall in honor of the 250th anniversary of Mozart's death next year. A series of composers and scholars have reconstructed the work, but Levin's attempt, based on his examination of Mozart's manuscript and sketches, is at 80 to 85 minutes some 30 minutes longer than other versions.

"There is a sense of frustration that Mozart's Mass‹the most significant setting of the Mass between Bach's B minor and Beethoven's Missa solemnis and on that same huge scale‹is but a torso," Levin said in a statement. "People long for a liturgically complete Mass that would place what Mozart finished in an overall context."

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