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Donald Macleod considers the effect war and turmoil had on Haydn’s life and career, and how those influences shaped some of his compositions.

Donald Macleod considers the effect war and turmoil had on Haydn’s life and career, and how those infuences shaped his compositions.

Joseph Haydn’s prodigious creativity earned him the titles Father of the Symphony and Father of the String Quartet. However, he was also occupied with sacred music throughout his career. This week, as Donald Macleod follows Haydn’s journey from humble choirboy to Europe’s most celebrated composer, he shines the spotlight on music from Haydn’s many settings of the Mass. It's music that is as chock-full of invention and character as any of the instrumental forms he made his own.

Austria was in an almost constant state of war during Haydn’s life. While he was protected from front line warfare, he was always engaged with the politics of his time. Haydn disliked Napoleon and was horrified at news of the French Revolution. Donald recounts a story about music transcending politics when an 'enemy' soldier visited Haydn at the end of his life and sang an aria from The Creation oratorio, bringing tears of joy to the old man’s eyes.

Mass in C major Missa in tempore belli ‘Paukenmesse’: Agnus Dei
Joanna Lunn, soprano
Sara Mingardo, alto
Topi Lehtipuu, tenor
Brindley Sherratt, bass
Monteverdi Choir
English Baroque Soloists
John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

Symphony No 100 in G major ‘Military’: movt. II Allegretto
New York Philharmonic
Leonard Bernstein, conductor

Piano Trio No 39 in G major ‘Gypsy Rondo’
Patrick Cohen, piano
Erich Höbarth, violin
Christophe Coin, cello

Mass in C major Missa in tempore belli ‘Paukenmesse’: Credo
Joanna Lunn, soprano
Sara Mingardo, alto
Topi Lehtipuu, tenor
Brindley Sherratt, bass
Monteverdi Choir
English Baroque Soloists
John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

Die Schöpfung, Part 2: Aria ‘Mit Würd’ und Hoheit angetan
Michael Schade, tenor
The English Baroque Soloists
John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

Mass in D minor Missa in angustiis ‘Nelson Mass’: Benedictus, Agnus Dei and Dona nobis pacem
Sylvia Stahlman, soprano
Helen Watts, alto
Wilfred Brown, tenor
Tom Krause, bass
Choir of King’s College, Cambridge
Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields
Sir David Willcocks, conductor

Producer: Eleri Llian Rees for BBC Cymru Wales

59 minutes

Music Played

  • Joseph Haydn

    Mass in C major, Hob XXII No 9 (Paukenmesse): Agnus Dei

    Performer: Joanna Lunn. Singer: Sara Mingardo. Singer: Topi Lehtipuu. Singer: Brindley Sherratt. Choir: Monteverdi Choir. Choir: Monteverdi Choir. Orchestra: English Baroque Soloists. Orchestra: English Baroque Soloists. Conductor: Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Conductor: Sir John Eliot Gardiner.
    • Philips 470 819-2.
    • Philips 470 819-2.
    • 16.
  • Joseph Haydn

    Symphony No 100 in G major (Military): ii. Allegretto

    Orchestra: New York Philharmonic. Conductor: Leonard Bernstein.
    • Sony Classical SM2k 47 557.
    • Sony Classical SM2k 47 557.
    • 2.
  • Joseph Haydn

    Piano Trio No 39 in G major, Hob XV No 25 (Gypsy Rondo)

    Performer: Patrick Cohen. Performer: Erich Höbarth. Performer: Christophe Coin.
    • HARMONIA MUNDI : HMC-901514.
    • HARMONIA MUNDI.
    • 3.
  • Joseph Haydn

    Mass in C major, Hob XXII No 9 (Paukenmesse): Credo

    Singer: Joanna Lunn. Singer: Sara Mingardo. Singer: Topi Lehtipuu. Choir: Monteverdi Choir. Singer: Brindley Sherratt. Orchestra: English Baroque Soloists. Conductor: Sir John Eliot Gardiner.
    • Philips 470 819-2.
    • Philips 470 819-2.
    • 21.
  • Joseph Haydn

    The Creation, Part II: Mit Würd' und Hoheit angetan

    Performer: English Baroque Soloists. Singer: Michael Schade. Conductor: Sir John Eliot Gardiner.
    • Archiv Produktion 449 217-2.
    • Archiv Produktion 449 217-2.
    • 5.
  • Joseph Haydn

    Mass in D minor, Hob XXII No 11 (Nelson Mass): Benedictus, Agnus Dei

    Performer: Sylvia Stahlman. Performer: Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. Performer: Sir David Willcocks. Singer: Helen Watts. Singer: Wilfred Brown. Singer: Tom Krause. Choir: Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chorus.
    • Decca 421 146-2.
    • Decca 421 146-2.
    • 9.

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