Schumann, Robert


Schumann, Robert

Missa Sacra Op. 147 for orchestra (Vocal Score)

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Schumann, Robert

Missa Sacra Op. 147 for orchestra (Vocal Score)

Schumann’s Missa sacra is scored for mixed chorus in four parts (the choir is indeed the protagonist of the entire work), three soloists (soprano, tenor, and bass), and orchestra (strings, double woodwinds, double brass, three trombones, timpani, and organ). Well versed in writing for choir, Schumann displays considerable imagination and technical artistry in using choral textures to structure his movements and achieve the effect of lofty simplicity and dignity appropriate to church music. His palette ranges from homophonic blocks to imitative polyphony. Especially noteworthy are the fugues that conclude the “Gloria” (Et cum sancto spirito), “Credo” (Et vitam venturi), and “Sanctus” (Amen). The most intimate and perhaps most beautiful movement (added to the Missa in March 1853) is the “Offertorium” (Tota pulcra es, Maria) inserted between “Credo” and “Sanctus” for solo soprano and violoncello obligato. The “Sanctus” is generally considered the high point of the entire Mass. Here Schumann digressed from the liturgical norm by adding a bass solo (O salutaris hostia) after the Benedictus and by repeating the Sanctus-text rather than the usual Osanna in excelsis and concluding the movement with the Amen-fugue. The movements stand in closely related keys arranged in a symmetrical arch: C minor and C major (“Kyrie” and “Gloria”), E flat major (“Credo”), A flat major (“Offertorium” and “Sanctus”) and C minor moving to C major (“Agnus dei”).

Jürgen Thym, June 2007

For more information on the piece:

Read the preface to the full score / das Vorwort zur Partitur lesen > HERE

Score Data

Score No.



Repertoire Explorer


Choir/Voice & Orchestra


225 x 320 mm


Piano Reduction & Voice



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