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Donald Macleod looks at the obstacles thrown into Haydn’s path throughout his career as he shuffled between one job and the next until his employment with the Esterhazys began.

Donald Macleod looks at the obstacles thrown into Haydn’s path throughout his career as he shuffled between one job and the next until his employment with the Esterházys began.

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.

Donald conjures up images of Haydn sofa-surfing in his younger days, running between jobs to earn enough money to feed himself and describes how his father saved him after a burglary left him with nothing, not even a spare shirt to wear to work. Haydn’s struggles weren’t just confined to his work but were also evident in his private life; in his choice of wife and an unrequited love.

Mass in B flat major ‘Harmoniemesse’: Credo
Nancy Argenta, soprano
Pamela Helen Stephen, mezzo-soprano
Mark Padmore, tenor
Stephen Varcoe, baritone
Collegium Musicum 90
Richard Hickox, conductor

Organ Concerto in C major
Simon Preson, organ
Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields
Neville Mariner, conductor

Piano Trio No 17 in F major
Beaux Arts Trio
Menahem Pressler, piano
Isidore Cohen, violin
Bernard Greenhouse, cello

Mass in G major ‘Missa Sancti Nicolai’: Agnus Dei
Lorna Anderson, soprano
Pamela Helen Stephen, mezzo-soprano
Mark Padmore, tenor
Stephen Varcoe, baritone
Collegium Musicum 90
Richard Hickox, conductor

Producer: Eleri Llian Rees for BBC Cymru Wales

59 minutes

Music Played

  • Joseph Haydn

    Mass in B flat major, Hob XXII: 14 Harmoniemesse (Credo)

    Singer: Nancy Argenta. Singer: Pamela Helen Stephen. Singer: Mark Padmore. Singer: Stephen Varcoe. Orchestra: Collegium Musicum 90. Conductor: Richard Hickox.
    • Chandos Records CHAN 0612.
    • Chandos Records.
    • 5.
  • Joseph Haydn

    Organ Concerto in C major, Hob XVIII No 1

    Performer: Simon Preston. Choir: Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chorus. Conductor: Neville Marriner.
    • Decca 430 160-2.
    • Decca 475 551-2.
    • 7.
  • Joseph Haydn

    Piano Trio No 17 in F major, Hob XV No 2

    Performer: Menahem Pressler. Performer: Isidore Cohen. Performer: Bernard Greenhouse. Ensemble: Beaux Arts Trio.
    • Phillips 432 062-2.
    • Phillips 432 062-2.
    • 8.
  • Joseph Haydn

    Mass in G major, Hob XXII No 6: Missa Sancti Nicolai (Agnus Dei)

    Singer: Lorna Anderson. Singer: Pamela Helen Stephen. Singer: Mark Padmore. Singer: Stephen Varcoe. Choir: Collegium Musicum 90 Chorus. Choir: Richard Hickox Singers.
    • Chandos Records CHAN 0645.
    • Chandos Records CHAN 0645.
    • 22.

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