Advent 7: Haydn Seek

ImageThat champion of diatonic melody, Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), wasn’t a particularly festive kind of a chap. In fact, I can find only one example of music that he wrote which is even remotely related to Christmas. The St. Nicholas Mass, his 6th, premiered on December 6 1772 (the name day of Haydn’s patron Prince Esterhazy, and of St. Nicholas), and was written to short order for Advent (note that the Dona Nobis Pacem and Kyrie sections share the same melody). It has a pastoral feel, as most Christmas works of the time exhibited as a nod to the shepherds in the Nativity story. The performance, by the Trinity Choir and REBEL Orchestra conducted by James Burdick, is paired with the Nelson Mass on this CD.

Haydn, Nikolaimesse

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