Works by Haydn, Mozart Close Musica Sacra SeasonApril 24, 2014

A stellar quartet of professional soloists joins Musica Sacra Chorus and Orchestra as it performs a rarely heard and highly influential work by Johann Michael Haydn—the expressive and emotional “Requiem in C Minor for Archbishop Sigismondo” at 7 p.m., Sunday, April 27 at St. Francis Xavier Church.

Soprano Rebecca Lloyd, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Powell, tenor David Adams and baritone Raymond Feener will join the group for the thrilling season finale.

Johann Michael Hayden, younger brother of Franz Joseph Haydn, was appointed at age 26 to the dual post of court musician and concertmaster in 1763 by Prince-Archbishop Sigismund Graf Schrattenbach. As early as 1739, the Salzburg court and cathedral also employed Leopold Mozart, whose famous son Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart received an honorary appointment as concertmaster in 1769. Both Leopold and Amadeus interacted with Haydn, and all composed works for the court and cathedral.

On Dec. 16, 1771, Prince-Archbishop Sigismund died, and Haydn set to work composing the “Requiem” that would honor the ruler. The autograph score was dated Dec. 31, 1771. Scholars speculate that Haydn’s “Requiem” not only reflected his feelings of grief at the loss of his patron and friend, but it likely expressed his despair at the loss of his daughter, who died less than a year after her birth in 1770. The result is a work that is both passionate and lyrical.

Haydn’s 1771 work clearly influenced Mozart’s “Requiem,” which was begun 20 years later in 1791 and left incomplete upon Mozart’s death. Additionally, Musica Sacra will perform Mozart’s “Te Deum,” a brief celebratory work written in 1769 when Mozart was 13.

Director Timothy L. McDonald, Ph.D., will present Live Program Notes about the concert at 6:15 p.m. St. Francis Xavier Church is located at 52nd and Troost Avenue, west of the Rockhurst University campus. Concert tickets are $18 for adults, $12 for students and seniors. Tickets are available through the Central Ticket Office at 816-235-6222, at www.rockhurst.edu/mstickets or at the performance. 

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