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“Mozart died writing this” is arguably the best known (and least helpful!) reference to this hugely popular work. As Peter Gutmann writes, “There’s nothing like a juicy tale to humanise the appeal of rarified art. One of the most intriguing legends clings to Mozart’s Requiem, his final masterpiece left unfinished at his death on December 5 1791, at the age of a mere 35”.
That appeal is utterly enduring and makes Mozart’s Requiem one of the outstanding works in the choral repertoire.
Please do listen to it on Spotify, but we insist that a live version is considerably better!
Haydn’s Paukenmesse, also known as Missa in tempore belli (English: Mass in Time of War) due to the dramatic use of timpani, is one of the most popular of his fourteen mass settings.
It was composed at Eisenstadt in August 1796 at the time of Austria’s general mobilisation into war. Reflecting the troubled mood of his time, Haydn integrated references to battle in the Benedictus and Agnus Dei movements. The Mass was first performed on 26 December 1796, in the Piarist Church of Maria Treu in Vienna.
This piece has been long thought to express an anti-war sentiment, even though there is no explicit message in the text itself, and no clear indication from Haydn that this was his intention. What is found in the score is a very unsettled nature to the music, not normally associated with Haydn, which has led scholars to the conclusion that it is anti-war in nature. (Adapted from Wikipedia)
Conductor: Geraint Bowen
Photo credit: Karen Friedman
Tickets from only £10 (unreserved). Up to 2 children under 16 will be admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Parties of 10 or more receive a group discount of 10%.