ミサ・ブレヴィス Missa brevis(short Mass)

Missa brevis (plural: Missae breves) is Latin for "short Mass". The term usually refers to a mass composition that is short because part of the text of the Mass ordinary that is usually set to music in a full mass is left out, or because its execution time is relatively short.

Full mass with a relatively short execution time

The concise approach is found in the mostly syllabic settings of the 16th century, and in the custom of "telescoping" (or simultaneous singing by different voices) in 18th-century masses. After the period when all church music was performed a cappella, a short execution time usually also implied modest forces for performance, that is: apart from Masses in the "brevis et solemnis" genre.

Polyphony

Orlande de Lassus: Missa venatorum (Hunters' Mass)
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina: Missa Brevis
Andrea Gabrieli: Missa brevis quatuor vocum
Gaspar van Weerbeke: Missa brevis

18th century

For composers of the classical period such as Mozart missa brevis meant "short in duration" - as opposed to "missa longa" (long mass), a term that Leopold Mozart used for his son's K. 262 - rendering the complete words of the liturgy. As the words were well known some composers had different voice parts recite simultaneously different sections of long texts. This is especially characteristic of Austrian masses in the Gloria and the Credo.

19th century

Kyrie-Gloria masses

Start of the Kyrie of Johann Sebastian Bach's Mass in B minor, originally composed as the start of a Kyrie-Gloria Mass in B minor dedicated to Frederick Augustus II, Elector of Saxony, when he came to power in 1733. The original Kyrie-Gloria mass was composed in 12 movements for SSATB soloists and choir, and an extensive baroque orchestra. It was probably because of its long duration that the score was archived in the Royal Library upon arrival in Dresden, instead of being added to the repertoire of the Catholic Hofkirche.

Partial settings are seen in both the Roman and Lutheran traditions, where many works consist of the Kyrie and Gloria. These masses came to be called Missae breves because they are shorter in words, the opposite being Missae totae (complete Masses).

Baroque period

Protestant liturgies did not have a mandated set of Mass ordinary sections to be included in a Mass composition. Thus, in addition to settings of all five sections (e.g. Hieronymus Praetorius, Christoph Demantius), there are many Kurzmessen (short masses) that include settings of only the Kyrie, Gloria, and Sanctus (e.g. Stephan Otto, Andreas Hammerschmidt). From the early 17th century, many Kurzmessen consist only of Kyrie and Gloria sections, e.g. those by Bartholomaus Gesius (eight out of ten Masses included in his 1611 Missae ad imitationem cantionum Orlandi).

In the second half of the 17th century the Kyrie-Gloria Kurzmesse was the prevalent type in Lutheranism, with composers like Sebastian Knupfer, Christoph Bernhard, Johann Theile, Friedrich Zachow and Johann Philipp Krieger. Gottfried Vopelius included a Kyrie?Gloria Mass in Gregorian chant on pages 421 to 423 of his Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch (1682), introducing its Gloria as "... what the old church has done furthermore in praise of the Holy Trinity".

In the first half of the 18th century Kyrie-Gloria Masses could also be seen as a Catholic/Lutheran crossover, for example for Johann Sebastian Bach: not only did he transform one of Palestrina's a cappella missae totae in such a Kyrie-Gloria Mass for use in Lutheran practice, he also composed one in this format for the Catholic court in Dresden.

19th century

Wikipedia

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