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Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)
Messa di Gloria

performed by
Willi Stein (Tenor)
Thomas Pfeiffer (Baritone)
Kantorei Maulbronn
Members of the SWR-Symphony-Orchestra
Baden-Baden & Freiburg
Conductor: Juergen Budday

A concert hosted by Klosterkonzerte Maulbronn
at the UNESCO World Heritage Site
Maulbronn Monastery, May 2001

A release, recorded and created
by Andreas Otto Grimminger & Josef-Stefan Kindler
in co-operation with Juergen Budday.

Audio CD, DDD, ca. 50 minutes
KuK 75, ISBN 978-3-930643-75-2, EAN 42 6000591 015 5
Copyright by K&K Verlagsanstalt anno 2007


Imagine you are living in 19th century Italy, you're 22 years old and studying music at the Conservatory in Lucca. In just a few weeks you will submit your first big musical composition to the Conservatory's Board of Directors: your final year project for your degree, the highlight of your young life... As I see it, Giacomo Puccini's "Messa di Gloria" represents a high point in his creative work - because can you really say this is "only" one of his early works? True, you sense the brilliance, the rapture and, indeed, a little of the lack of respect typical of youth - but in actual fact, this composition is simply too beautiful for a mass back in those days. It reflects the young artist's total passion and dedication. Unlike many people who see the "Gloria" as the climax of this composition, I personally feel that the real climax is the "Agnus Dei". And the fact that it reappears later - and almost unchanged - in the opera "Manon Lescaut" is surely no coincidence.

Josef-Stefan Kindler

Although music scholars have been aware of the "Messa di Gloria" by Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) for a considerable time, the piece only began to appear in concert programmes relatively recently. The score was in fact not published until 1951. Since then the work has been known generally as the "Messa di Gloria". It was first performed on July 12th,1880 at the Festival of San Paolino, the patron saint of bells, who is particularly revered in this part of Tuscany. This public performance brought the young composer general recognition. Puccini incorporated two other pieces of church music into the score of the Messa - a motet and a Credo that he had composed for the same festival in 1878. The entire composition had originally been conceived as a large choral work, but the final version is for two solo voices, a four-part choir and a large orchestra.

The Messa is thus the first comprehensive work by Puccini to follow the solid musical traditions of his family and deliberately use the "modern" methods of expression in vogue at the time. Puccini used his expertise in festive choral music and in adhering to the strictest conventions of counterpoint, and combined it with his own personal concept of a style for church and an innate feeling for melody that was present in him from the start. There is also a certain style to the sound that foreshadows the extraordinary mastery of orchestration apparent in his late works. Puccini was particularly fond of this early composition, proof that he attached particular importance to it. Echoes of the "Messa" reappear later in Puccini's operas, particularly in "Edgar" and "Manon Lescaut". In fact, the "Madrigale" in Act 2 of Manon contains almost the entire "Agnus Dei", with only very few structural changes. Bearing all this in mind, it is no wonder that Puccini's Messa is so highly appreciated today.

The libretto of the concert
with lyrics and detailed informations
as html-page - as pdf-file for download (32,4 kB)

Copyright by K&K Verlagsanstalt. View more at: The K&K Movie Channel.

> View Video II


1. Kyrie
Chor: Kyrie eleison. Christe eleison.

2. Gloria
Chor: Gloria in excelsis Deo et in terra pax hominibus.
Tenor Solo: Gratias agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam.
Chor: Domine Deus, Rex coelestis, Pater omnipotens.

3. Credo
Chor: Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotente...
Tenor Solo & Chor: Et incarnatus de Spiritu Sancto.
Bass Solo: Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato, passus et sepultus est.
Chor: Et resurrexit tertia die secundum scripturas et ascendit in coelum,
sedet ad dexteram Patris.

4. Sanctus
Chor: Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus Domine, Deus Sabaoth.

5. Benedictus
Bariton Solo: Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.

6. Agnus Dei
Tenor /Bass Solo und Chor:
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Dona nobis pacem.

Willi Stein (Tenor)
was born in Limburg an der Lahn. He studied voice with the vocal-soloists Pfeifle and Prof. Alfred Sandor Kónja and attended the opera school at the State Academy of Music in Stuttgart. Furthermore, he masterclasses with Maestra Prof. Raggi Valentini in Pesaro. He sang at various stages supporting opera and operetta roles, such as "The Rodolfo" from "La Bohème", "The Duke" of "Rigoletto" and "Cavaradossi" in "Tosca". In 1984, he was a participant in the Final Luciano Pavarotti Competition in Modena.

Thomas Pfeiffer (Baritone)
already unfolded his concert activities while still a student. He made guest appearance at the the Art Festival of Weimar with a "Goethe evening song" and with Schubert song cycle Die Schöne Müllerin at the Marienbad Festival in Tschechien, Mahler's of Lieder eines Fahrenden Gesellen, he made music with the Vogtland Philharmonic in Reichenbach and Greiz. He was soloist in J.S. Bach's Mass in B minor (BWV 232) with the orchestra "Les Amoureux" in Paris and with the Festival of the Besancon in France, with opera productions of works by Mozart, Haydn, Felix Mendelssohn and Smetana; with the Rossini Festival in Bad Wildbad; the Festival of Ludwigsburg, at the Danube Festival Week in Austria and with "Ars-Musica" in Berne. Beside numerous Lieder recitals and oratorio concerts in his homeland, the tours abroad with renowned choirs represent further important stations of his singing career. So, among other things, Thomas Pfeiffer has appeared with the Kantatenchor Tübingen in Orff's Carmina Burana in Spain and Bach's Matthäus-Passion (BWV 244) in Greece; with the Kammerchor Stuttgart in works of Jan Dismas Zelenka and Bach in Italy and Austria, with the Bachchor Karlsruhe in Händel's Salomo in France. Among his most important CD productions: The three Schubert song cycles, Lieder by Richard Strauss, Rückert-Vertollungen (Schubert, Clara Schumann and Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Mahler, Reutter, Komma), Beethoven Lieder, the Mozart's Singspiel Zaide and and Rosssini's, Petite Messe solennelle. He has also participated in numerous TV and radio productions. Thomas Pfeiffer particpates in the jury of music competitions and gives singing courses, among other things for the German Tonkünstlerverband and the Intemationalen working group for music. Since 1992 he is a professor for singing at the National University for Music and Art in Stuttgart.

The Kantorei Maulbronn
is the large oratorio choir of the monastery in Maulbronn, founded in 1948. In addition to regular participation in the services at the monastery, the performance of great oratorios is the focus of its choral work. Their concert activity with renowned orchestras and soloists in Germany and abroad demonstrates the high quality of this ambitious amateur choir. The German television station ZDF has done a portrait of the Kantorei, and the choir has participated in live radio recordings for the SDR and Deutschlandfunk.

Juergen Budday
is artistic director and founder of the Maulbronn Chamber Choir. He studied church music and musicology at the Academy of Music in Stuttgart from 1967 to 1974 and, since 1979, has taught at the Evangelical Theology Seminar in Maulbronn. This also involved his taking over as artistic director of the Maulbronn Monastery Concerts and the cantor choir. In 1992, he was named Director of Studies, in 1995 came the appointment as Director of Church Music and in 1998 he was awarded the 'Bundesverdienstkreuz" (German Cross of Merit) as well as the Bruno-Frey Prize from the State Academy in Ochsenhausen for his work in music education. Since 2002, Juergen Budday has also held the chair of the Choral Committee with the German Music Council. Together with the Maulbronn Chamber Choir, he has started a cycle of Handel oratorios that is planned to span several years, which involves working with the best-known singers in the genre (e.g. Emma Kirkby and Michael Chance, to name but a few) and has won him international recognition. At the Prague International Choir Festival, he received an award as best director. He has made several CD recordings that have received the highest praise from reviewers and include G.F. Handel's Messiah, Solomon, Belshazzar, Saul, Samson and Judas Maccabaeus.

The Maulbronn Monastery CD Series

Publishing culture in its authentic form entails for us capturing and recording for posterity outstanding performances and concerts. The performers, audience, opus and room enter into an intimate dialogue that in its form and expression, its atmosphere, is unique and unrepeatable. It is our aim, the philosophy of our house, to enable the listener to acutely experience every facet of this symbiosis, the intensity of the performance. The results are unparalleled interpretations of musical and literary works, simply - audiophile snapshots of permanent value.

The concerts in Maulbronn monastery, which we document with this edition, supply, the ideal conditions for our aspirations. It is, above all, the atmosphere of the romantic, candle-lit arches, the magic of the monastery in its unadulterated sublime presence and tranquillity that impresses itself upon the performers and audience of these concerts. Renowned soloists and ensembles from the international arena repeatedly welcome the opportunity to appear here - enjoying the unparalleled acoustic and architectural beauty of this World Heritage Site (monastery church, cloister gardens, lay refectory, etc.), providing exquisite performances of secular and sacred music.

Under the patronage of the Evangelical Seminar, the Maulbronn Monastery Cloister Concerts were instigated in 1968 with an abundance of musical enthusiasm and voluntary leadership. Within the hallowed walls of the classical grammar and boarding school, existent for more than 450 years, some of society's great thinkers, poets and humanists, such as Kepler, Hölderlin, Herwegh and Hesse received their first impressions.

The youthful elan, the constructive participation of the pupils, continuing the tradition of their great predecessors, constructs an enlightened climate in which artistic ambitions can especially thrive. Twenty-five concerts take place between May and September. Their success can be largely attributed to the many voluntary helpers from near and far. There is a break for winter.

Flourishing culture in a living monument, created for the delight of the live audience and, last but not least, you the listener, are the ideals we document with this series.

Jürgen Budday, Andreas Otto Grimminger & Josef-Stefan Kindler