Haydn: Mass in Time of War
Franz Joseph Haydn composed this mass for orchestra, soloists and chorus in August 1796. At that time, Austria was mobilizing for war. Reflecting the troubled mood of his time, Haydn’s references to battle in the Benedictus and Agnus Dei movements is inspired.
While this piece has been long thought to express an anti-war sentiment, there is no explicit message in the text itself, and no clear indication from Haydn that this was his intention. What is found in the score is a very unsettled nature to the music, which has led scholars to conclude that it is anti-war in nature. This is especially noticed in the Benedictus and Agnus Dei.
During the time of the composition of the Mass, the Austrian government had issued a decree in 1796, that “no Austrian should speak of peace until the enemy is driven back to its customary borders. Whether this is enough to call it anti-war in nature is certainly debatable because most of the mass is of a lyrically joyful nature.
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Saturday, November 11 @ 8:00pm
Sunday, November 12 @ 4:00pm
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