The chapelmaster at St. Stephen’s Cathedral was getting older and suffering increasingly bad health and so Mozart’s request to take over his position was readily approved. This basically confirmed the fact that Mozart would have gone on to become a highly paid chapelmaster at that church, which was the main venue of sacred music in Vienna – the “music capital” of the 1700’s.
The article states:
The idea of Mozart as chapelmaster at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna fires the imagination in ways that few other composers can, particularly in light of the fact that he had become interested of late in composing not only large-scale sacred works but also more accessible church music in a “popular” style. We can only guess at what Mozart’s “popular” music for Catholic liturgies at St. Stephen’s would have sounded like. But it is nice to entertain the possibility that it would have pointed in the opposite direction of the path that Catholic church music would ultimately take. This is especially true with regard to misdirected attempts at a “popular” style in the waning decades of the 20th century. Anyone who experienced the “folk Masses” of the 1970s and 80s would surely agree.
[Photo: The interior of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna]
As chapelmaster, Mozart would have had to supply his congregation with a steady stream of new music throughout the liturgical year. Had Mozart not died before entering this appointment, we might still be enjoying beautiful musical arrangements from the master himself during Sunday services
To find out more about Mozart’s musical career and his own religious beliefs, take a look at Kevin Sullivan’s documentary film, Mozart Decoded.
Top photo: St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna. Photos courtesy of Google Images.