While other composers have arrived at more perfunctory settings of the Credo, Weber made his more jubilant and emotional. The final chords of the Credo give way to a subtle and mysterious opening to the Sanctus. While the darkly scored diminished-seventh chords that open the Sanctus draw one into a movement that often opens more blatantly. The movement builds up to a triumphant conclusion, and the Agnus Dei is a quieter piece. Nonetheless, the Agnus Dei forms a satisfying final movement to this Mass. As to the relationship to Der Freischütz, the Kyrie contains an extended passage that uses the diminished-seventh chord in a way similar to its use with the character Samiel in the opera. This is not to say that Weber draws on the diabolical character in the Mass, but rather, that he uses the chord prominently. When they occur at the opening of the Sanctus, these chords contribute to the movement an element of suspense. A more specific reference to Der Freischütz occurs, however, in the Sanctus, which evokes some of the music of Agathe. In the Agnus Dei Weber similarly evokes Agathe's character by using motives associated with her. These evocations of Der Freischütz should not be taken as programmatic, but rather suggest more about the origins of the Mass, which coincide with Weber's intensive work on Der Freischütz. Since both works emerged from the same time, it is not unusual that they share similar thematic content, even though their purposes differed. Coming from an extremely busy time in Weber's career, the Missa Sancta no. 1 is an excellent work which should be known better through more frequent performance.
James Zychowicz (source/font: aquí)
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