First Concert of the 2017 Season
The Scholars Pro Musica (now Scholars Baroque Aotearoa) begin their 2017 season with two very different choral works by F. J. Haydn. Following upon their successful and highly acclaimed performance of Haydn’s “Creation” in 2016 with Opus Orchestra, the Scholars further explore Haydn’s choral works with “The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross” and “The Little Organ Mass”.
Commissioned originally in 1783 by the Cathedral at Cadiz, Haydn’s setting of “The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross”, meant clearly more to the composer than just another ordinary composition. So much was Haydn’s fondness for this, his most profound work, that it exists in no fewer than four very different incarnations – a choral work, an orchestral work, a string quartet, and even as a solo piano work (all approved and arranged by the composer himself). As a choral work, it is a masterpiece and shows “Papa” Haydn as a brilliant and inspired choral composer, due in no small part to his invaluable training as a singer himself when he was a boy. The work features many incredible moments of sublime beauty. Given the subject matter of the work, it is surprisingly serene until the end.
It teems with the usual classical sweetness of the late 18th Century, but it is never trite. The choir and quartet of soloists weave through the score effortlessly.
In contrast, Haydn’s “Little Organ Mass” was written around 1775 for the order of the Barmherzige Brüder (The Brothers of Mercy) in Eisenstadt, whose patron saint was St. John of God, hence Haydn’s original name for the work – the Missa Brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo. The nickname“Little Organ Mass” (Kleine orgelsolomesse) was given years later on account of the beautiful extended organ solo in the Benedictus. Haydn himself played the organ solo in the first performance of the mass.
FOR THIS CONCERT, THE SCHOLARS ARE DELIGHTED TO WELCOME
NEW ZEALAND ORGANIST, JANET GIBBS
We also welcome a wonderful line up of soloists: