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Mozart Contrafacta Choruses Collection

Published by Breitkopf & Härtel in the twenty-five years after Mozart’s death, new derivative works based upon Mozart’s sacred music became the standard by which he was judged as a church composer well into the second half of the nineteenth century. In fact, of the eighteen pieces listed in the “Oratorios, Masses, and other Church Music” section of Breitkopf’s 1847 catalog, twelve are derivative pieces, having fitted new text to existing Mozart movements. Hailed by early biographers such as Georg Nikolaus von Nissen and Alexander Ulibischeff as great masterworks making Mozart’s sacred music available to German choral societies, the pieces would later fall out of favor as the authentic works became more widely available. Still, their importance in early Mozart performance and reception history cannot be denied, and no serious Mozart collection can be complete without them.