– J. S. Bach: Sanctus D-Dur, BWV 232III – G. F. Händel: Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day, HWV 76 – J. Haydn: Messe B-Dur, Hob. XXII: 14, (Harmoniemesse)
Christina Landshamer (soprano), Marie-Claude Chappuis (mezzo soprano), Julian Prégardien (tenor), Tobias Berndt (bass), RIAS Kammerchor, Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, direction: Sir Roger Norrington
The Mass in B Flat Major is Haydn’s last completed work. It was written in 1802 on a commission from Prince Esterházy in honour of the feast day of the patron saint of his wife, Maria Josepha Hermengilde. Deploying numerous wind instruments – hence the epithet »Harmoniemesse« that was subsequently attached to it (a »Harmonie« is a wind ensemble) – Haydn created a grandiose work in which moments of quiet contemplation and celebratory outbursts succeed one another. Handel’s »Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day« is dedicated to the martyr and patron saint of music, St. Cecilia. It extols »heaven’ly harmony« as a divine force. The text by John Dryden describes various instruments and their »affects«, which Handel marvellously conveyed in music. Rounding out the programme is a »Sanctus« by J. S. Bach, which he later re-arranged for inclusion in his Mass in B Minor. It was first performed at Christmas 1724 but today is rarely performed alone.