Joseph Schuster (1748 –1812) was one of those Dresden composers who in their lifetime were widely acclaimed for their operas and instrumental music both in Germany and for a while also in Italy, but who were forgotten soon after their deaths. On the other hand he played a decisive role in establishing the musical tradition of the catholic Hofkirche. For more than two generations his masses, vespers, litanies, and other works were a central component of the repertoire, and a number of pieces managed to keep their place even after the reorganization of the courtly church music and the gradual decrease of services in the decades before and after 1900.1 In addition, in his function as teacher of composition and accompanying musician to the electoral-royal family Schuster gave significant impulses that affected the sacred music of a number of his pupils (in particular Franz Anton Schubert and Princess Amalia of Saxony). [...] Because from 1786 to 1801 the composition and performance of music for the high feast days counted among the privileges of Johann Gottlieb Naumann, Schuster’s Mass No. 13 can clearly be identified as one of those repertoire pieces that in the decades before and after 1800 were performed on more than 80 Sundays and feast days every year. This corresponds with the moderate format that deliberately avoids any lengthiness but at the time could draw upon the excellent capacities of the court chapel’s instrumentalists.
(Preface by Gerhard Poppe - translation by Stephanie Wollny)