Mozart – Ave Verum Corpus

(warning: no real musical instrument was harmed during the making of this track)

I have always thought that synthesizers were good for making modern music, but not for classical pieces, emulating real instruments. I’m not so certain of that anymore.

It took me too days to make this track using a digital workstation, from reading the score, playing every line, editing the digital sheet, to the final mixing and mastering. I found it impressive how much control one can have on the quality of the sounds and the ability to convey expression and musicality, even restricted by such an impersonal method.

The original choral piece was intended to be played with violins, viola, cello, bass and organ. Here I made an adaptation for a string quartet: two violins, viola and bass.

Ave Verum Corpus (KV 618) was one of the latest works composed by Mozart (17 June 1791), as we can notice by the maturity of the composition and degree of intensity of the modulations. It also resembles some passages of the Requiem.

It seems that the piece was composed somewhere near Baden, by coincidence, very near from Vienna, my home now.

I used these two magnificent performances as references (YouTube links):

Leonard Bernstein: 

King’s College Choir: