Karl Paulnack, pianist and director of music at the Boston Conservatory gave a welcome address to the freshman class which included the following excerpt:
The first people to understand how music really works were the ancient Greeks. And it is going to fascinate you; the Greeks said that music and astronomy were two sides of the same coin. Astronomy was seen as the study of relationships between observable, permanent, external objects, and music was seen as the study of relationships between invisible, internal, hidden objects. Music has a way of finding the big invisible moving pieces inside out hearts and souls and helping us figure out the position of things inside us.
Mozart, even though he was an absolute jerk to tenors (another post for another time), either consciously or subconsciously understood that music had the power to move the hearts and souls of people. His two masterpieces from the church repertoire are the Requiem Mass, and the Great Mass in C-Minor. The Great Mass in C-Minor is great, but its not brilliant... Maybe if the tenor had more than a trio and a quartet, it could the the Brilliant Mass in C-Minor, but I guess that was not meant to be.
This weekend, I sang the tenor solos in Mozart's Great Mass in C-Minor as part of the Bow Valley Chorus' 10th Anniversary Celebrations. Aside from the sore back and sore feet, from standing throughout the entire word, the music can be refreshing for your soul. The little harmonic twists and turns that Mozart writes into his music give a depth of genius to words that have been set a thousand times by a thousand other men (and women.)
One more performance to go, next weekend in Banff, at the Banff Centre...