Next concert

Saturday 2 July 2022 at 19:30,
St Mary's Parish Church, Woburn.
July concert 2022 flyer.jpg

(Johann) Michael Haydn, the younger brother of the more famous (Franz) Joseph Haydn, was born in 1737. Following in the steps of his older brother, Michael went to Vienna at the age of eight to sing in the choir of St Stephen’s Cathedral. He continued to develop his musical talents in Vienna and elsewhere, culminating in his appointment in 1763 as Kapellmeister to the Archbishop of Salzburg. He remained in Salzburg for the rest of his life where he wrote over 360 compositions. However, eight years into his tenure, on 16 December 1771, Michael’s employer, Archbishop Siegmund, died suddenly. As Kapellmeister. it fell to him to organise suitable music for the memorial service. He decided to write a requiem; no mean task since the service was to take place on 31 December! The resulting Requiem in C minor, composed in just two weeks, is an astonishing feat of vocal and instrumental writing. Despite being the best known of Michael Haydn’s compositions to modern audiences, it is none the less rarely performed.

(Franz) Joseph Haydn’s Maria Theresa Mass, written in 1799, was the fourth in the series of six masses he composed to celebrate the name-day of Princess Maria Hermenegild, the wife of his patron Prince Nikolaus Esterházy II. It is the most intimate of all the name-day masses. A work of marked musical contrasts, it ranges from the blazingly triumphant opening of the Gloria to the gentleness of the concluding Dona Nobis Pacem which displays the lyrical quality that characterises this whole magnificent work. Unaccountably, like Michael Haydn’s Requiem, it is rarely performed. This concert is therefore a marvellous opportunity, not to be missed, to hear these two unjustly neglected masterworks.

Tickets: £20, £15, £10 and £5 (under-18s)

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Future concerts

Saturday 12 November 2022