The Banchetto Musicale, Haydn: Lord Nelson Mass (Mass in D minor, HOB XXII:11)

Gavin Borchert

By Gavin Borchert

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
One of Haydn’s finest pieces of church music.

The peak of Haydn's church music came near the end of his life, when Nicolaus'successor, Nicolaus II, who was much less interested in music, required from Haydn only one Mass a year in honor of his wife. The nickname recognizes the British admiral who was a hero during the Napoleonic Wars; Haydn's subtitle for this work was Missa in angustiis, or “Mass in time of distress.” Slightly darker than Haydn's other late Masses, without their bright wind scoring, this one includes some near-operatic dramatic roulades for soprano. The vocal ensemble Banchetto Musicale gives a particularly intimate performance of this deeply-felt work.