The Feast of All Saints offers us a chance to hear two rarely heard masterpieces by Haydn. What will make these back-to-back performances of the 'Trauer' Symphony No. 44 in E minor and the Nelson Mass especially exciting is the fact that they were written decades apart: the symphony dates from 1772, when Haydn was 40 years old. By the time he wrote the mass in 1798, he was already 66 and - now a world-famous composer with the success of The Creation under his belt - nearing the end of his career.
Many of Joseph Haydn's symphonies received nicknames that do not originate with the composer, and most of these have anecdotes connected to them. The explanation for why the 'Trauer' (German for 'Mourning') symphony is named this way is because Haydn supposedly asked for the work's slow movement to be performed at his funeral. The name, however, might also refer to the minor-key composition's opening and closing movements, which fit neatly into the atmosphere of the then-popular Sturm und ...Drand ('Storm and Drive') intellectual movement that was fashionable in the 1770s and later took off with Goethe's novel The Sorrows of Young Werther. The sobriquet attached to the mass being played in the second part of the concert also was not bestowed by Haydn: he gave this work written during the unsettled era of the Napoleonic Wars the subtitle Missa in angustiis (meaning 'Mass for Troubled Times') not long before news arrived that Admiral Nelson had defeated Napoleon's fleet at the Battle of the Nile. Two years later, when Nelson paid a visit to Haydn's employer, Prince Esterházy, it was this mature piece - rich in sound and gestures - that was performed in his honour, and it has been called the Nelson Mass ever since. Conducting the outstanding Hungarian soloists and the Hungarian National Philharmonic, performing in company with the Hungarian National Choir, will be a young conductor who has won acclaim all over Europe: Gergely Madaras.
The concert will be preceded from 6.30 pm by a conversation entitled Prelude, where ticket holders will be invited to get to know the performing musician and the works to be performed more closely.
Presented by: Müpa Budapest
Tickets for this performance can be purchased with Müpa Budapest gift vouchers, but these can only be accepted for events presented as part of the Budapest Spring Festival and CAFe Budapest when making purchases in person.
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