Saturday 17 June 2017

7.30 pm
All Saints' Church
Hessle HU13 0AD

concert 4 image

Blick auf Salzburg by J Wilhelm Jankowsky (19th c.)

Michael Haydn



Vespers K321

Michael Haydn was Joseph Haydn’s younger brother, and worked at Salzburg, where he was a friend of the Mozart family. He wrote this Requiem for the funeral of the Archbishop of Salzburg, Sigismond, who died in December 1771, although it has been suggested that the death of Michael Haydn’s daughter earlier that year was the main reason why it is such a powerful composition. It certainly seems to bear witness to something more personal than the death of an employer.

Mozart, who was nearly 15 when the work was performed, admired it greatly, and parts of his own Requiem, which we performed last season, bear witness to his knowledge of the work. Michael Haydn was certainly a distinguished composer, and this is the first time in the Choir’s history that we have performed a piece by him.

Mozart’s Vespers, K321 were composed when the he was 24. It too was written for performance at Salzburg. Despite the young age of the composer, his work shows astounding maturity. The piece’s full title is Vesperae solennes de Dominica, which simply means that the first performance of this solemn vespers took place on a Sunday. This does, however, enable one to distinguish it from his other vespers setting of the following year. The work contains a variety of music, requiring some brilliant solo and choral singing. Mozart’s Salzburg church music is far less well-known than his later choral works. Don’t miss the opportunity of hearing some beautiful music by a genius of a composer.