Vesperae solennes de Confessore
The Vesperae solennes de Confessore KV 339 were composed in 1780 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart during his activity as court composer for the Archbishop of Salzburg Hieronymus von Colloredo.
They follow the Catholic liturgy for a vespers and comprise six movements, including five Old Testament psalms and the Magnificat from the Gospel of Luke. The setting was composed for the use in the Salzburg Cathedral. The title “de confessore” was not Mozart’s own, and was added by a later hand to his manuscript. It suggests that the work was intended for vespers held on a specific day on the liturgical calendar of saints (“confessors”); however, the saint in question has not been conclusively established. This was Mozart’s final choral work composed for the cathedral.
The vesperae are composed for soloists (soprano, alto, tenor and bass), four-part choir, 2 trumpets, timpani, 3 trombones, 2 violins and continuo (cello, double bass, bassoon and organ).
Especially noteworthy is the soprano aria in Laudate Dominum.
Laudate pueri Dominum (Psalm 113) Allegro, D minor
- Praise ye the LORD. Praise, O ye servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD.
- Blessed be the name of the LORDfrom this time forth and for evermore.
- From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD’s name is to be praised.
- The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens.
- Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high,
- Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!
- He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill;
- That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people.
- He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD.