Haydn composed two Te Deums: one in 1765 and the other in 1799-1800. The Choristers will present the more popular Te Deum No 2 in C. One of Haydn’s admirers was Empress Marie Therese, an important patron in Vienna of both Haydn and Beethoven. Haydn dedicated this large scale Te Deum to the Empress, who had requested such. There are no soloists and the work’s three-part structure makes it, in effect, a concerto for chorus and orchestra. Saving the best for last, the final section explodes into one of the most magnificent double fugues in the choral repertoire. Clearly, the handiwork of a master. Haydn’s Te Deum will be conducted by Kelly Wyszomierski, Associate Director of The Choristers.
Beethoven’s Choral Fantasia (1808), also known as Fantasia in C minor for Piano, Chorus and Orchestra was composed for a benefit concert … to benefit himself. At that time he had no regular or dependable source of income and it was not easy for him to arrange a concert from which he could secure the receipts. Finally, partly in just recognition of his services to charity, the Theater an der Vienna put the concert hall at his disposal the night of December 22, 1808. The concert featured compositions by Beethoven for orchestra, soloists and a choir. Because Beethoven decided the evening needed a finale utilizing all of the forces present, he composing this work. Audiences usually hear the Choral Fantasy as a precursor to the Ninth Symphony, a work to which it does bear great resemblance. This is because it is based upon a simple song melody that he had written in the 1790s … a pre-cursor to the “Ode to Joy”. The piano soloist will be Michelle Enos, the Accompanist of The Choristers.
Mozart’s great Mass in C Minor is favorably compared to Bach’s Mass in B Minor and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis. Begun as a promise to his wife (Constance) if she said yes to his marriage proposal, he lavished all of his brilliance and intellect upon it ~ the most complex and profound choral work he composed. Unfortunately, for reasons not entirely understood, Mozart did not complete the work. For the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth (2006), the Carnegie Foundation commissioned American musicologist and internationally acclaimed concert pianist Dr. Robert D. Levin to reconstruct and complete the Mass. To do so, Levin engaged in extensive research and located sketches for some of the missing movements. He used them as well as choral movements from other works Mozart composed around the time of his work on the Mass. Furthermore, he recapitulated material from the existing parts of the Mass to promote the internal unity of the work. Thus, the approximately 25 minutes of additional music used to complete the Mass is musical material that stemmed directly from Mozart’s pen. Soloist will be Sopranos Maureen Francis & Carole Latimer, Tenor Lawrence Jones and Bass Ben Wager.
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