Joseph Swensen was born in Hoboken, New Jersey and grew up in Harlem, New York City. He currently holds the post of Conductor Emeritus of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, where he was Principal Conductor from 1996-2005. He is Principal Guest Conductor of the Orquesta Ciudad de Granada, in Spain, and Artistic Partner of the Northwest Sinfonietta, in the United States. He has served as Principal Guest Conductor and Artistic Adviser of the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris from 2009-2012 and has held positions at the Malmö Opera (2008-2011), Lahti Symphony, and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Swensen is the Starling Professor of Music, violin, at Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music. He has also been awarded an honorary doctorate from St. Andrew’s University, Scotland, and was invited to give a TEDx Talk with the title “Habitats for Music and the Sound of Math,” about music education and the developing brain, at the New York Institute of Technology. Joseph and Victoria Swensen are the founders of Habitat4Music, a non-profit organisation devoted to establishing participatory music education programs for children in underserved areas world-wide.
Agnieszka Franków-Żelazny graduated from the University of Wrocław in 2000 with a degree in biology. That year, she founded the Kameralny Chór Akademii Medycznej (Medici Cantantes Choir at the Medical University of Wrocław). In 2004, she received a diploma from the Karol Lipiński Academy of Music in Wrocław, where she studied Music Education and was awarded a diploma in 2005 from the Vocal Department. During this time, she was honoured with the first prize in the National Contest for Choir Conductors. In 2006, she completed the Postgraduate Voice Production and Training Programme at the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz. Since June 2006, Franków-Żelazny has been the artistic director of the National Forum of Music Choir. In 2008, she was awarded a special prize for conductors from the 39th Legnica Cantat National Choir Contest. Franków-Żelazny became the head of Polish National Youth Choir, which she also founded, in 2013. She completed course work at the Academy of Culture Leaders at the Economic University of Kraków, in 2014 and was distinguished with the Gloria Artis Bronze Medal for Merit to Culture. The following January, she was named the programme director of the Choral Academy of the National Forum of Music. In 2016, Franków-Żelazny was a music curator for the year that Wrocław served as the European Capital of Culture. The album DE PROFUNDIS – Polish Psalms of the 20th and 21st Century with the NMF Choir under her direction was awarded the Fryderyk prize for the best choral, oratorio and orchestra music, 2017. She currently works as an Associate Professor at the Academy of Music in Wrocław.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed his Mass in C major for the Easter Day service on April 4, 1779, during his service to the Archbishop, in Salzburg. The style of the work, thus, corresponds to the form preferred by the Archbishop. The use of wind instruments suggests a Solemn Mass and its length suggests a Short Mass. Mozart described this influence in a letter, "Our church music is very different to that of Italy, all the more so since a mass with all its movements, even for the most solemn occasions when the sovereign himself reads the mass, must not last more than three quarters of an hour. One needs a special training for this kind type of composition, and it must also be a mass with all instruments, war trumpets, timpani etc." Therefore, in order to accommodate the form, Mozart omitted the formal closing fugues for the Gloria and Credo, composing a tight rondo for the vast text, and the Dona nobis pacem recalls the music of the Kyrie. As early as the 19th Century, the mass was popularly referred to as the Coronation Mass, misguided by the belief that it had been composed for Salzburg's annual celebration of the anniversary of the crowning of the Shrine of the Virgin. Interestingly, though the work was not composed for the Coronation of Francis I in Prague, in 1792 or that of Leopold II, in 1791, it is thought to have been performed on both occasions.
Alixandra Porembski, English Language Annotator