Newbury Choral Society - bringing the finest
choral music alive since 1885

Registered Charity No. 291321


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NCS Spring Concert

Lovers of the classical period will find much to delight them in Newbury Choral Society’s next concert, which features two giants of a prolific and exciting time in Austrian music. Under the expert guidance of Cathal Garvey, now a familiar figure to Newbury concert-goers, the choir will sing two works by Joseph Haydn, accompanied by London Ulysses Orchestra, who will also perform the Linz Symphony (No.36) by his friend and protégé, Mozart.

Haydn returned in triumph to Vienna from London in 1795, having cemented his reputation as a composer of symphonies and string quartets. He then turned his remarkable talents to the composition of vocal and choral works, including his famous oratorios, his six late masses and the Te Deum for the Empress Maria Therese. Haydn was a welcome visitor at the imperial palace in Vienna, where he would often accompany the Empress to indulge her great love of singing. She appears to have asked repeatedly for a specially composed work of sacred music, which Haydn finally provided in the form of the Te Deum, first performed, from what we can glean from the records, during a visit of Lord Nelson to Eisenstadt in 1800.

Haydn’s later masses were composed for the Esterházy family, his old employers, to celebrate the name day of Princess Maria Von Hermenegild. The mass, officially titled Missa Sancti Bernardi Von Offida, was first performed in 1796. As Wikipedia points out, “the Sanctus section of the mass is a setting of a then-popular Austrian tune to the German translation of Sanctus, "Heilig". The Mass takes its popular German title Heiligmesse from this section. The mass includes what are, for the time, unexpected modulations and innovative use of third relations that would influence later mass settings by nineteenth-century composers.”

Mozart and his wife stayed in Linz on their way back from Vienna to Salzburg in 1783, only to discover that, when he heard of their impending visit, a local dignitary had advertised a concert to include a symphony from the genius. In four days he wrote and fully orchestrated Symphony No.36 in C Major which was also subsequently premiered in Vienna the following year.


 

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