Together with the "Ave, verum corpus" and the Requiem, the Mass in C minor
K. 427 is one of Mozart's last sacred works. And, like the Requiem, it too
is incomplete: the Kyrie and Gloria were performed in Salzburg in 1783, but
only part of the Credo was written, and none of the Agnus Dei. The work is
marked by an archaic flavor reminiscent of Handel's music, which Mozart had
developed a taste for in his later years.
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.