Haydn’s last two masterworks will be presented by the CBS Choir & Orchestra. Admission will be by programme, available at the door.
His “London” Symphony was the last of his final series, written in 1795 to crown a sensationally popular subscription season. It combines Mozartian elegance and rustic folk dances with the drama and excitement of Beethoven, most obviously in the short hammer blows which propel the first movement. In this work, he farewelled his greatly admired English capital, which richly rewarded him when repeated in a last benefit concert, on the eve of his return to Austria.
Haydn's Harmoniemesse was the last of the six great Masses he wrote annually at the end of his life, incorporating all his symphonic skill. It was written for the Princess Esterhazy, whose palace in Eisenstadt is only a few minutes walk from the Bergkirche (Church on the Hill), where it was first performed. The Mass takes its name from Haydn's extensive use of wind instruments, possible because in 1802, when it was written, the palace orchestra was at its largest and most impressive.
The Kyrie is more sombre than usual with Haydn, and the Benedictus is lighter and more impulsive. Typical of the master symphonist are the monumental fugues which conclude Gloria and Credo, signalled by martial calls from the brass as is the stirring Dona Nobis Pacem which ends the Mass.
Shortly after its premiere, Haydn revealed his hopes for future audiences: a secret voice whispered to me: "There are so few happy and contented peoples here below; grief and sorrow are always their lot; perhaps your labours will once be a source from which the care-worn, or the man burdened with affairs, can derive a few moments' rest and refreshment."
For this concert, soloists will be Stephanie Waterhouse, Louisa Pilkington, Wally Enright and Ken Joblin. The orchestra will be led by Natalia M. Lomeiko, and the Musical Director will be Don Whelan.
The cathedral musicians maintain an extensive repertoire of masses and motets, sung each Sunday at the 11 a.m. Solemn Choral Mass. New members are welcome to the 7.30 pm Wednesday evening rehearsal at the CBS Music Centre. Sight reading ability is expected. Opportunities exist for choral leaders, who enjoy unique opportunities to perform solo roles in significant Mass and motet settings with the orchestra and choir. Leadership awards, and other scholarships are available to suitable applicants.
Those interested are invited to contact the CBS Musical Director, Don Whelan, phone 358-5873.