Mozart Mass to kick off centennial celebrations

To kick off the first of many events celebrating St. Catherine of Siena Church’s 100th anniversary this year, the church’s music director, Mark Kaczmarczyk, will conduct Mozart’s Great Mass in C on Friday, April 26.

Glenn S. Allen

Glenn S. Allen

The Great Mass in C minor was written to commemorate Mozart’s marriage to Constanze Weber. As with his other monumental work, the Requiem, Mozart left the Mass in C minor incomplete. It is said to be his most ambitious and complex sacred work — almost one hour in length and immense in conception.

Historians speculate that the composition may have been prompted by Mozart’s guilt over a falling out with his father, his marriage (against his father’s wishes) to Constanze, or as a mass of thanksgiving for Constanze’s recovery from illness. Perhaps Mozart planned to compose a grand full-scale mass both as a wedding present to Constanze and in an effort to appease his father. Whatever the impetus for the composition, the piece is regarded today as one of the three greatest settings of the Mass Ordinary.

Jennifer Aylmer

Jennifer Aylmer

In this performance, the Mozart and Constanze: Love Letters program weds personal letters from Mozart to members of his family and his fiancée Constanze Weber, who sang the soprano solos at the premiere. The letters will be interspersed during the actual movements of the mass, and feature Metropolitan Opera soprano Jennifer Aylmer and Broadway Veteran Glenn Seven Allen. Accompanying them will be the St. Catherine of Siena Festival Choir and Greenwich Symphony Orchestra.

Ticket prices for the 8 p.m. Friday, April 26 performance of Mozart’s Mass in C minor are general open seating at $25 and student open seating at $10. Call 203-637-3661 to reserve and charge your ticket, or visit the Parish offices located at 4 Riverside Avenue.

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