Beethoven’s glorious Mass in C will be the main work in a “Classical Greats” concert given by St Albans Choral Society and Orchestra Nova in St Albans Cathedral at 7.30pm on Saturday 30 April.
The first half of the programme features three other popular classical works: Haydn’s majestic Te Deum, Mozart’s exquisite Ave verum corpus, and his much loved Symphony No 40.
“This is a tremendous programme of truly magnificent masterpieces of the Classical period,” said George Vass, the Society’s Music Director, who conducts the concert. “The Beethoven Mass is a work of real beauty, while the Te Deum is one of Haydn’s most effervescent choral works, and the Mozart pieces are among this extraordinary composer’s very best.”
The soloists will be Daisy Brown, soprano (pictured below), Rebecca Afonwy-Jones, mezzo-soprano, Ben Alden, tenor, and Michael Bundy, bass.
The earliest work in the programme is the Mozart symphony, the middle symphony of the great final trilogy that Mozart composed in three months in 1788. The Ave verum corpus is his most affecting and briefest piece of sacred music, set for choir and string orchestra, and completed in 1791 as a gift for Anton Stoll, organist and choirmaster at Baden parish church.
The Te Deum by Haydn, which has brilliant writing for both choir and orchestra, received its premiere in September 1800 at Eisenstadt, the home of the Esterházy family, his former employer.
Beethoven straddled the Classical and Romantic periods and his Mass in C, commissioned in 1807 by Haydn’s final patron, Prince Nikolaus Esterházy II, to honour his wife Maria’s name day, remains a favourite work with singers and audiences alike for its elegant balance, lovely melodies and idiomatic vocal writing.
Tickets at £25, £20, £15 and £10, with concessions, are available from The Gift Shop, St Albans Abbey, 01727 890290, 10.00–17.00 Monday-Saturday, 13.00–17.00 Sunday, or online at www.stalbanscathedral.org/whatson/music
Daisy Brown, soprano