Sacred vocal music by Josef Gabriel Rheinberger
The core of the extensive and wide-ranging body of choral music composed by Josef Rheinberger is found in the music which he wrote for use in Catholic services. He left fourteen masses scored for varied ensembles, three settings of the Requiem, two of the Stabat Mater, and numerous motets; there are also three oratorios or large-scale cantatas, together with some youthful works and pieces without opus numbers. Most of the liturgical works date from Rheinberger’s last creative period, after he had been appointed in 1877 as Court Kapellmeister, and had been entrusted with the direction of the church music performed in the Court Chapel of All Saints in Munich.
The most famous sacred vocal composition by Rheinberger is his six-part motett Bleib bei uns op. 69,3, the so-called Abendlied, which is based on a study work of 1855. This motet provides an brilliant example of the subtle compositional possibilities of the young Rheinberger.