Belfast, 2-4 November 2007


Consideration of Bach's Kyrie e Gloria BWV 232I within the context of Dresden Catholic Mass settings, 1729-1733

Janice B. Stockigt

(University of Melbourne, Australia)

Bach’s offering in 1733 to the Elector of Saxony of a ‘Messa’ (Kyrie e Gloria) will be viewed within the context of a group of works held under the title ‘Musica di Chiesa di Varii Autori’ in contemporary catalogues of the Dresden court.

Examples of Kyrie and Gloria settings composed and/or revised by Jan Dismas Zelenka for performance in the Catholic court church of Dresden 1729–1733 will then be examined, with particular attention given to large-scale structures and tonal relationships, duration of performance, musical styles, solo vocal and choral writing and the role given to each voice including comparisons of ranges and tessitura, instrumentation and instrumental writing, arrangement of the basso continuo section, colla parte procedures, and vocal and instrumental techniques of dynamics and articulation. 

Aspects of Bach’s composition will be related to the delineation of certain texts to determine how he complied with or disregarded Dresden practices. Using lists of musicians employed at the Dresden court between 1729 and 1733, speculation will be made about which singers and instrumentalists Bach might have had in mind when he composed and compiled the ‘Messa’ for Dresden in 1733.

Last updated on 22 September 2007