Epistle Sonata

   An instrumental composition of a single sonataform movement played at a Roman Catholic mass after the intonation of the Epistle, the portion of one of St. Paul’s letters preceding the Gospel reading. The Epistle sonata therefore occupied the place formerly held by the sequence. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed the most famous set, 17 pieces written for the Salzburg Cathedral between 1772 and 1780, which call for organ and various other combinations of instruments.

Historical dictionary of sacred music. . 2006.

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