Happy Birthday to Mozart

Today is the birthday of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, born this day in 1756. He only lived 35 years, but composed an amazing body of music, both sacred and secular, starting in childhood. He’s been my favorite composer since high school. His music is almost always joyful; in fact he seldom wrote anything in a minor key.

So please enjoy one of his settings of the Magnificat (the Song of Mary from Luke), for soloists, chorus, and orchestra, sung in Latin. (It’s part of a larger work.) At the end the Gloria Patri is sung.

I think Mozart captures the great sense joy that Mary felt after hearing the Gabriel’s message

I’ll include the Latin and English translation of the texts below.

W. A. Mozart Vesperae solemnes de confessore kv 339 - Magnificat.

Magnificat anima mea Dominum;
Et exultavit spiritus meus in Deo salutari meo,
Quia respexit humilitatem ancillae suae; ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent omnes generationes.
Quia fecit mihi magna qui potens est, et sanctum nomen ejus, Et misericordia ejus a progenie in progenies timentibus eum.
Fecit potentiam brachio suo;
Dispersit superbos mente cordis sui.
Deposuit potentes de sede, et exaltavit humiles.
Esurientes implevit bonis, et divites dimisit inanes.
Sucepit Israel, puerum suum, recordatus misericordiae suae, Sicut locutus est ad patres nostros, Abraham et semeni ejus in saecula.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.

Gloria Patri:
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto, sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

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A genius of Western Civilization and derivatively, Christianity. I prefer Ludwig but you couldn’t go wrong picking either as the most hallowed composer among earthlings.

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