Mozart composed his "Ave, verum corpus" K. 618 in June 1791, just a few
months before his death. Conceived for the feast of Corpus Christi, it is a
work of touching directness and simplicity, and one of Mozart's most moving
Though few people would spontaneously associate Leonard Bernstein with
18th-century sacred music, this production stunningly confirms the words of
a major Munich daily: "After a few bars, one is conquered by Bernstein's
mastery in creating atmosphere and communicating moods." This live concert
with the Chorus and Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio was filmed at the
ornate Basilica of Waldsassen in Franconia (Germany), one of the first
architectural adaptations of the Italian Baroque style to German taste.
Significantly, this work also represents a melding of Italian vocal writing
and German contrapuntal art.