Universal Edition - Leoš Janáček – Glagolitic Mass

Leoš Janáček

Leoš Janáček
Glagolitic Mass

Year of composition: 1927
Version: first version
Scored for: for soloists, mixed choir, organ and orchestra
Composer: Leoš Janácek
Edited by: Paul Wingfield
Text Source: Ordinary of the Masses in Old Church Slavonic, "Cyril" and "Misi slavnije o bl. Marii deve i za umršeje obetnije slovenskim jezikom" transliterated by Josef Vajs; (1919/1920) and revised by Miloš Weingart.
Original Language: Altkirchenslawisch
Soloists: soprano; alto; tenor; bass
Instrumentation: 4 3 3 3 - 4 4 3 1 - timp(3), perc(2), hp(2), cel, org, str
Instrumentation details:
1st flute
2nd flute (+picc)
3rd flute (+picc)
4th flute (+picc)
1st oboe
2nd oboe
cor anglais
1st clarinet in Bb
2nd clarinet in Bb
3rd clarinet in Bb (+bass cl(Bb))
1st bassoon
2nd bassoon
3rd bassoon (+cbsn)
1st horn in F
2nd horn in F
3rd horn in F
4th horn in F
1st trumpet in F
2nd trumpet in F
3rd trumpet in F
4th trumpet in F
1st trombone
2nd trombone
3rd trombone
1st timpani
2nd timpani
3rd timpani
1st harp
2nd harp
violin I
violin II
Table of Contents:
Gospodi pomiluj
Agnece Bozij
Duration: 45′
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Audio Excerpt

Glagolitische Messe

World Première

Location: Stadion Brno / Czech Republic
Date: 05.12.1927
Orchestra: Orchestra of the Brno National Theatre
Choir: choir of Beseda brnenská
Conductor: Kvapil Jaroslav
Main Soloists: Alexandra Cvanová, s, Marie Hloušková, a, Stanislav Tauber, t, Ladislav Nemecek, b, Bohumil Holub, org.
Remarks: the concert was broadcast

Work Introduction

1926 was a particularly successful and productive year for Leoš Janáček, who composed the opera The Makropulos Case, as well as Sinfonietta and the Glagolitic Mass, among other works.

Janáček wrote his Glagolitic Mass in just two and a half months, and it became one of the most important mass compositions. Distancing himself from all of the well trodden paths of the traditional genre, Janáček created a piece of sacred music that is so unique, it begs the question of whether it can be categorised as such at all. It can best be compared to Zoltán Kodály’s powerful Psalmus hungaricus. Instead of using Latin, Janáček based his piece on a ninth century text written in Glagolitic (Cyrillic) script – Old Church Slavonic. When committing his work to paper, Janáček said: “I want to show people how to talk to our dear Lord.” And he did so with a self-assurance that is a far cry from Catholic humility and contrition. His aim was to write a “joyful mass” because all of the masses composed thus far were so sad.

The composer was apparently forced to make major revisions during rehearsals for the mass’s première (5 Dec 1927) owing to a lack of instrumental resources and the limited rehearsal time available, and some additional questionable changes seem to have been made prior to the second performance in Prague (8 Apr 1928). Some of these revisions actually constitute cuts of music that ranks amongst the most arresting that Janáček ever wrote. To make matters worse, the composer died before the full score could be published. As a result, the edition of the work published after his death promulgated a score that is far less exciting and ambitious than the one Janáček originally composed.

After years of consulting various sources, the musicologist Paul Wingfield succeeded in reconstructing the original version. Sir Charles Mackerras then added valuable performance suggestions, after which this hitherto unknown version was presented to the public. The original final version was then subsequently revised, taking musicological and practical performance aspects into account. Performance material is available for both versions. Directors can choose their preferred version, each of which has its own merits. The Glagolitic Mass has also been published as part of the UE study score series (UE34298); an informative preface sets out the differences and similarities between the two versions, which can both be found in the study score.

Choral score – Glagolitic Mass (Mša glagolskaja)

This sheet music edition is the choral score of Leoš Janá?ek's "Glagolitic Mass" in its original version from 1927.

  • for soloists, mixed choir (SATB), organ and orchestra
  • Edition type: choral score
  • Edition info: Study score UE34298 for both editions
  • Language: Old Church Slavonic
  • UE30991
  • ISBN: 978-3-7024-6879-8
  • ISMN: 979-0-008-08225-2
EUR 21,95

Prices incl. VAT plus shipping costs

Pay by credit card, PayPal and direct bank transfer (in some countries)

Study score – Mša Glagolskaja (Glagolitic Mass)

  • for solists, mixed choir, organ and orchestra
  • Edition type: study score
  • Edition info: Die Erstfassung unterscheidet sich von der vereinfachten späteren Version ("Fassung letzter Hand" ), dass sie mit der" Intrada" beginnt und endet. Weitere spezifische Unterschiede sind im Vorwort aufgeführt. Die Studienpartitur gilt für beide Fassungen
  • Series: Neue Studienpartituren-Reihe
  • Language: Old Church Slavonic
  • UE34298
  • ISBN: 978-3-7024-6733-3
  • ISMN: 979-0-008-08094-4
EUR 45,95

Prices incl. VAT plus shipping costs

Pay by credit card, PayPal and direct bank transfer (in some countries)

Piano reduction – Glagolitic Mass

  • for soloists: soprano, alto, tenor, bass, choir satb, organ and orchestra
  • Edition type: piano reduction
  • Edition info: Orchestra material on hire (Study score UE34298 for both editions)
  • Language: Old Church Slavonic
  • UE34955
  • ISBN: 978-3-7024-6895-8
  • ISMN: 979-0-008-08241-2
EUR 54,95

Prices incl. VAT plus shipping costs

Pay by credit card, PayPal and direct bank transfer (in some countries)

Future Performances

Location: Auditorium Rainier III, Monaco (MC), Orchestra: Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, Conductor: Juraj Valcuha

Shipping costs

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World (i.e. outside Europe)*   
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