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Mass in C minor, K. 139 "Waisenhaus"

  (Redirected from K. 47a)

The Missa solemnis in C minor, K. 139/47a, is a mass composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in the summer of 1768 in Vienna.[1] It is scored for SATB soloists, SATB choir, violin I and II, 2 violas, 2 oboes, 2 trumpets, 2 clarini (high trumpets), 3 trombones colla parte, timpani and basso continuo.

Missa solemnis in C minor
Mass by W. A. Mozart
Wien - Waisenhauskirche.JPG
Waisenhauskirche (Orphanage Church) of Vienna
KeyC minor
CatalogueK. 139/47a
OccasionConsecration of the Waisenhauskirche
Performed7 December 1768 (1768-12-07): Vienna
VocalSATB choir and soloists


The mass was commissioned by the Jesuit priest Father Ignaz Parhammer, who asked Mozart for music for the consecration of the new Orphanage Church – Waisenhauskirche [de] – on the Rennweg.[2] The commission gives the mass its nickname Waisenhausmesse (Orphanage Mass). Mozart also composed a trumpet concerto suitable for performance by a boy as well as an offertory, both thought to be lost.[2] Indeed, due to cataloging errors, this mass was also considered lost for many years.[3][4]

The performance took place on 7 December 1768 at the church, in the presence of the court. The twelve-year-old Mozart conducted a choir of orphans in a performance that received "universal acclaim and admiration".[2] This mass is considered Mozart's most ambitious work to be performed up until that point in time,[5] and was his first and longest missa longa.[6]


The mass consists of six movements. Performances require approximately 40 minutes.

1. "Kyrie" Adagio, C minor, common time
  • "Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison..." Allegro, C major, 3/4
  • "Christe eleison..." Andante, F major, 2/4
  • "Kyrie eleison..." Allegro, C major, 3/4

2. "Gloria" Allegro, C major, common time

  • "Laudamus te..." Andante, G major, 3/4
  • "Gratias agimus tibi..." Adagio, C major, common time; Vivace, A minor, common time
  • "Domine deus..." Andante, F major, 2/4
  • "Qui tollis..." Adagio, F minor, cut common time
  • "Quoniam tu solus sanctus..." Allegro, F major, 3/4
  • "Cum sancto spiritu..." Allegro, C major, cut common time
3. "Credo" Allegro, C major, cut common time
  • "Et incarnatus est..." Andante, F major, 6/8
  • "Crucifixus..." Adagio, C minor, common time
  • "Et resurrexit..." Allegro, C major, cut common time; Adagio, C major, cut common time; Allegro, C major, cut common time
  • "Et in Spiritum Sanctum..." Andante, G major, 3/4
  • "Et unam sanctam..." Allegro, C major, cut common time; Adagio, C major, cut common time
  • "Et vitam venturi..." Allegro, C major, cut common time

4. "Sanctus" Adagio, C major, cut common time

  • "Pleni sunt coeli et terra..." Allegro, C major, 3/4
  • "Hosanna in excelsis" <Allegro>, C major, cut common time
5. "Benedictus" Andante, F major, common time
  • "Hosanna in excelsis" <Allegro>, C major, cut common time

6. "Agnus Dei" Andante, C minor, cut common time

  • "Dona nobis pacem..." Allegro, C major, 3/4

Despite its designation as a C minor mass, the music is predominantly in C major;[3] masses wholly set in a minor key were considered unusual and funereal in the classical period.[4][7]


  1. ^ Robert Dearling (1982). The Music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: The Symphonies. p. 35.
  2. ^ a b c Hermann Abert, MR Stewart Spencer (2007) [1923–24]. W. A. Mozart. p. 107.
  3. ^ a b Stanley Sadie (2006). Mozart: The Early Years 1756–1781. p. 160.
  4. ^ a b Alfred Einstein, Arthur Mendel (1945). Mozart: His Character, His Work. p. 323.
  5. ^ Julian Rushton (2006). Mozart. p. 22.
  6. ^ The Cambridge Mozart Encyclopedia. p. 272.
  7. ^ "Introduction". Antonio Salieri, Mass in D minor. p. x.

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