Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) was the principal architect of the classical style of music. Haydn’s most celebrated pupil was Ludwig van Beethoven, and his musical influence on composers such as Schubert, Mendelssohn, Mozart and Brahms is immense.
Missa Brevis No. 7 in B flat (Missa Brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo), by Franz Joseph Haydn, is our first “Something Old” tonight. Missa Brevis was written sometime in the mid-1770’s and was named after the patron saint of The Brothers Hospitallers, Saint John of God. It was written to be sung in the Brother’s church (little more than a tiny chapel) in Eisenstadt. The small organ and loft could accommodate only a handful of instrumentalists - therefore, the Mass earned its nickname, the “Little Organ Mass.” Given the space constraints, Haydn scored this Mass for organ, string quartet (two violins, cello and double bass – no viola) and a chorus probably not exceeding twelve singers.
Something Old, Something New
April 9, 2016
Compiled by Mary Jane Matecki
Edited by Alan Wellman