Mendelssohn: 'Hymn of Praise', Beethoven: Mass in C
Sat, 17 February 2018
The texts, chosen principally from the Bible, concern the praise of God and mankind’s progress from darkness to enlightenment. Highlights of the cantata include the invigorating chorus "Let all men praise the Lord." The emotive tenor solo, "The sorrows of death," with its chromatic inflections, followed by "Watchman, will the night soon pass?" The close of the cantata begins with a choral fugue and moves to "All that has life and breath, sing to the Lord," a development of the theme of the first movement.
Beethoven composed his Mass in C in 1807, a period of prodigious output when he was in his mid-30s. Nearly all his music was being received ecstatically and his fame and reputation blossomed across Europe. On the strength of this, Prince Nicolaus Esterhazy commissioned Beethoven to write a mass for his wife’s name’s-day. The mass that Beethoven produced was novel and striking and although Beethoven was pleased with his work it did not find favour with the Prince and Beethoven eventually dedicated published editions of this work to someone else. There was no stopping the flow of masterpieces from Beethoven’s pen however and his next work would be to complete his 5th Symphony.Today, Beethoven's Mass in C is appreciated by critics but is not often performed. Michael Moore wrote "While it is often overshadowed by the immense Missa Solemnis, written some fifteen years later, it (Mass in C) has directness and an emotional content that the latter work sometimes lacks".
Hertfordshire Chorus, directed by David temple, was formed in 1970 and performs regularly in the UK’s major concert halls, as well as more locally in St Albans Cathedral, Haileybury College Chapel and Hatfield House. It appears frequently with the BBC Concert and Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestras. It is one of the leading large choirs in England with over 130 members from across the county of Hertfordshire, London and surrounding areas. It has made numerous recordings, with their latest CD being Ode to a Nightingale (Will Todd) and Codebreaker (James McCarthy, recorded with the BBC Concert Orchestra for Signum Records. This reached number 7 in the specialist Classical Charts on its release in October this year. These two beautiful and moving pieces were both commissioned by the choir and have been performed a number of times in London, Newcastle and the USA.
By booking your ticket online you are agreeing to the Cathedral Box Office Terms and Conditions