James Burton conductor
Gillian Keith soprano I Sam Furness tenor
Anna Dennis soprano II Matthew Hargreaves bass
MENDELSSOHN Overture: The Fair Melusine
WAGNER Siegfried Idyll
MOZART Great Mass in C minor
Mozart 'Great' Mass in C Minor
It’s sometimes tempting to think of Mozart as being rather superficial and frivolous. However, many of his works reveal deep spiritual and emotional depths. One of these is his ‘Great’ Mass in C minor. Indeed there are some who believe that it is the only significant choral work composed between Bach’s B minor Mass and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis. While that’s probably going a bit far, you’ll have the opportunity to judge for yourself on Friday 7th November at Sheffield City Hall when a fine cast of soloists will join James Burton, the Royal Northern Sinfonia and the Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus with the Gentlemen of the Sheffield Cathedral Choir to perform this extraordinary work.
To escape the rather repressive environment of his native Salzburg, Mozart and his wife Constanze moved to Vienna, where the court librarian introduced him to the works of many masters from earlier generations, including Bach and Handel. The C minor Mass, with its scintillating baroque textures and remarkable counterpoint, appears to be Mozart’s response to these new influences and, in places, almost attempts to ‘out-Bach’ Bach himself.
The Mass was supposedly composed in fulfilment of a solemn pre-nuptial promise to Constanze to compose a mass to celebrate the birth of their first child. So it was appropriate that she sang the soprano arias in the first performance. It’s lavishly scored for four soloists, a chorus mostly in five parts but sometimes swelling to eight, and an orchestra including trumpets, drums and trombones. Consequently, there’s never a dull moment and many sublime ones!
Tickets and further details here: http://www.sheffieldcityhall.co.uk/events/Royal-Northern-Sinfonia