My father was not a religious man, but he loved music. This is why we used to go to the Sacred Music Mass, performed each Sunday in Vienna’s St. Augustine Church. It is a beautiful gothic building, founded in the early 14th century and I just loved going there. It was all so fascinating – the Roman Catholic liturgy, the priest, the Latin, the organ, the musicians, the frankincence and the mystery of the eucharist. I also remember really, really getting cold, because I think we only would go in winter and Goretex was not invented yet.
I would like to share a little bit of this fascination, because sacral musical compositions are not only about about celebrating god, the mystery of transformation and the holy spirit in us all. This music was the chosen vehicle of the spirit at those times, without radio, television or ipods. People went to the holy mass, each Sunday, and there they had the opportunity to listen to the sound of the spirit, transported by the compositions of a chosen few, who could hear it in themselves and capture it in scores. Now and then, listening to this music causes an opening, like it did in these long forgotten days, sitting in a freezing cold church, attentively listening to hours of sacred music. So I am going to start a little series now, introducing the individual sections of catholic liturgy, brought into being by the spirit itself – through the likes of Haydn, Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert and those before and after them.
The Kyrie is the first movement of a setting of the Ordinary of the Mass:
- Kyrie eleison; Christe eleison; Kyrie eleison
(Κύριε ελέησον. Χριστέ ελέησον. Κύριε ελέησον)
Lord have mercy; Christ, have mercy; Lord, have mercy.
- Listen to the Kyrie of the Franz Schubert Mass no. 6 in E flat major, D950