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World premiere performance of Mass

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5 April 2012

Mass by Mozart
Mass by Mozart

An unfinished masterpiece from the pen of legendary composer W A Mozart will be given new life in a world-first performance in Melbourne.

Staff from the Monash University Academy of Performing Arts (MAPA) will realise a new reconstruction of Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor.

Produced by The Orchestra Project, an incorporated society founded by current Monash Academy Orchestra conductor Fabian Russell, the performance will be directed by MAPA’s Executive Director, Dr Peter Tregear.

Dr Tregear said Mass is generally considered to be one of Mozart’s finest liturgical compositions, but was like his Requiem, left incomplete at the composer’s death in 1791.

“There have been several attempts over the past 200 years to patch together a completed Mass setting from the surviving sources,” Dr Tregear said.

“This new version by German musicologist Benjamin-Gunnar Cohrs cleverly adapts pre-existing works by Mozart, and stands out as being the most scholarly and least stylistically intrusive of them all.”

The Orchestra Project’s performance will be the first performance of the work in its entirety.

“Mozart not only composed some of his finest music for solo voice in Mass, but also was inspired by the great works of Bach and Handel to write a series of spectacular choruses,” Dr Tregear said.

“The result is a work that both pays homage to the musical style of Baroque as well as looking forward to the grand romantic gestures of nineteenth century music.”

The performance is supported by Orchestra Victoria and a grant from the Robert Salzer Foundation.

The Orchestra Project society also provides mentoring and performing opportunities for gifted young local musicians, enabling them to work alongside the best musicians from Australia’s professional orchestras and offer the wider public performances of major or rarely performed orchestral works.

Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor will take place at 2.30pm, Sunday 8 April at South Melbourne Town Hall.

Tickets range from $20-$35 and are available on the door, on the MAPA website or by calling the MAPA box office on +61 3 9905 1111.