Compositional Technique in Leopold Ferdinand Schwerdt's Festive Masses


  • Zoran Krstulović



Leopold Ferdinand Schwerdt (1770-1854) is today mainly known for his orchestral compositions (Symphony in E flat major, Grande Serenade), although his works found so far, with the exception of those mentioned, are exclusively ecclasiastic. The most numerous among them are Masses. The present text deals with 6 Festive Masses for soloists, chorus and orchestra, written probably during 1807-1810 for chorus of St. Nicholas' Cathedral in Ljubljana, where Schwerdt was active as bass singer and music teacher. They are preserved in the archives of the cathedral choir. Their classicistic texture indicates a clearly baroque knowledge of the forming and musical rendering of the text and the orchestral sound at the end of the 18th century. The forming follows the text whereas the basically ternary structure of the Masses and of most movements discloses a clear-cut concept and a structural simplicity. The works represent characteristic examples of church music such as was being created for the needs of the Ljubljana Cathedral before in 1810 its orchestra was dissolved.


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How to Cite

Krstulović, Z. (1993). Compositional Technique in Leopold Ferdinand Schwerdt’s Festive Masses. Musicological Annual, 29(1), 21–32.