Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 8:00 pm

  • Mozart Laudate Dominum (for soprano & chorus), Regina Coeli, and 
    Epistle Sonata (for Organ & Orchestra)
  • Beethoven Elegy Song
  • Schubert Salve Regina
  • Haydn Mass in Time of War (Paukenmesse)

In the 18th and 19th centuries, Austria possessed the largest concentration of great composers in any one country in the history of Western Music. The composers featured in this concert are four of the most revered of all time; their careers were all centered in the cities of Salzburg and Vienna and surrounding palaces. Mozart wrote some of his most ebullient music for the rococo churches of Salzburg. We have chosen the infectiously joyous Regina Coeli, the sparkling Epistle Sonata (a miniature organ concerto), and his famous Laudate Dominum (from the Solemn Vespers), a sublime aria for soprano with chorus.

We move to Vienna for Beethoven’s Elegy Song (for string orchestra and chorus.) This seldom-performed work is a deeply moving memorial for the wife of his friend Pasqualati. Schubert, too, spent almost his entire career in Vienna. His Salve Regina is one of the many beautiful choral pieces he wrote which are hardly ever heard.

Outside Vienna, at the Esterhazy Palace, Haydn composed his final six great masses. His Mass in Time of War is one of his greatest and most profound compositions. He wrote this stirring work near the end of his life when his beloved Austria was engaged in a disastrous war with Napoleon. The mass is particularly famous for the Agnus Dei movement which features a prominent timpani solo (hence the name “Paukenmesse” or Kettledrum Mass), and ends in a tremendous climax, with trumpets raging, the chorus imploring "Give us Peace!"