Inspiring views for a Mozart Mass

Salzburg is full of churches, and the Mozarts spent a lot of time going to church. Leopold and Wolfgang Mozart were employed in the Salzburg Cathedral and they performed and composed for mass and special festivities in the numerous other churches around town as well.

One such church was the Wallfahrtskirche Maria Plain. Overlooking Salzburg from the northeast, the famous pilgrimage church with its Mount Calvary and stunning natural surroundings attracts visitors today just as it did in Mozart’s day. As devout as Leopold Mozart was, even he admitted that he sometimes went to Maria Plain not out of devotion, but because of the beautiful views.

The church’s origins go back to a painting known as the Maria Trost which miraculously survived a fire that broke out in a family bakery and burned down an entire town Bavaria. In the year 1774, the 100th anniversary of the consecration of the church was celebrated with a week-long festival of music and services for which Wolfgang not only performed on the organ and violin but also composed a mass.

In this episode of Mozart Snapshots, Colorado pianist Katie Mahan takes us up to Maria Plain to see the views and speak with the current organist, who fills us in on the mass that Mozart composed for this church.

See all episodes of Katie's Mozart Snapshots, where she walks in the footsteps of Mozart in his hometown of Salzburg.

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