Pamela Dellal, mezzo soprano


uncommon intelligence, imagination and textual awareness...



Miscellaneous Notes

Schubert Mass in G

We end our season with Schubert's G Major Mass. Last week was the 53rd and last of our Schubert concerts at Suffolk Theater. The G Major Mass is an astonishingly great work of the eighteen-year-old Schubert. The gentlest of masses, the work opens with a lyric and tuneful 'Kyrie.' The 'Christe' with soprano solo darkens the texture, but sunlight reappears in the repeat of the 'Kyrie.' The 'Gloria' is in D Major, triumphant in tone, but still permeated with a kind of sweetness rare in Mass settings. Probably the greatest section of this Mass is the hypnotic 'Credo.' Schubert finds a rapt weightless tone for this movement that even carries through the 'Crucifixus' section. This is without a doubt the least dogmatic 'Credo' ever set. The 'Sanctus' is brief with a tiny 'Pleni sunt coeli' and a little fugal 'Hosanna.' The Benedictus is patterned on a quartet from Beethoven's "Fidelio." Even at this young age Schubert was au courant with the latest of Viennese musical developments. The 'Agnus Dei' is, appropriately, of a darker cast, but the 'Dona nobis pacem' revives the joy of the 'Gloria.'

©Craig Smith