Michael Haydn: Pro Festo Innocentium

Michael Haydn: Pro Festo Innocentium

96688 (Brilliant Classics, CD)

FIRST RELEASE (1 December 2022)
Tracks: 23
Booklet pages: 6
℗ 2022 Brilliant Classics
© 2022 Brilliant Classics
Main country of recording: Italy
Reviewer: Gerald Fenech
Review of Michael Haydn: Pro Festo Innocentium published on 22 November 2022

Genova Vocal Ensemble - Accademia Vocale di Genova
Roberto Piga, violin
Filippo Bogdanovic, violin
Arianna Menesini, cello
Alberto Do, organ
Roberta Paraninfo, conductor

Michael Haydn (1737-1806):

Missa sub titulo Sancti Leopoldi, MH 837, for three soloists, female choir, strings and organ (two horns ad libitum)
1 Kyrie
2 Gloria
3 Credo
4 Sanctus
5 Benedictus
6 Agnus Dei: Agnus Dei; Qui Tollis
7 Agnus Dei: Dona Nobis

Vesper in F, MH 548, for three soloists, female choir, strings and organ (two horns ad libitum)
8 Dixit Dominus
9 Confitebor
10 Beatus Vir
11 De Profundis
12 Memento
13 Hymnus
14 Magnificat

Missa Sancti Aloysii, MH 257, for three soloists, female choir, strings and organ (two horns ad libitum)
15 Kyrie
16 Gloria
17 Credo: Credo In Unum Deum
18 Credo: Et Incarnatus Est
19 Credo: Et Resurrexit
20 Sanctus
21 Benedictus
22 Agnus Dei: Agnus Dei, Qui Tollis
23 Agnus Dei: Dona Nobis

From 1763 until his death in 1806, Johann Michael Haydn worked in the service of the Archbishop of Salzburg – almost as long a period of service as that of his brother Joseph to the princely family in Esterhazy. During the course of those forty-three years, he bridged the stylistic gap between early Classicism and the Biedermeier style. Indeed, he was initially regarded by contemporaries as equal in talent to Joseph. Only the older brother's steep rise to become the most important instrumental composer of his day somewhat overshadowed Johann Michael Haydn. In recent years his music has been rediscovered, and he has increasingly been recognized again. His output includes more than thirty works in Latin or German for two or three lines of upper voices, composed for his 'dear choirboys' singing at the cathedral in Salzburg. The first setting of the ordinary in this series was the Missa Sancti Aloysii, composed in 1777. It was initially intended for the Commemoration of the Holy Innocents on 28 December, when the chapel boys celebrated their principal feast day. This exceptionally charming mass is marked throughout by a wonderfully effervescent sense of joy. At the other end of his career, the Missa sub titulo Sancti Leopoldi pro festo Innocentium was Michael Haydn's last completed work, finished on 22 December 1805 in time to celebrate the same feast day as the earlier Mass, despite the composer's ill health, and drawing strength (according to the composer) from the optimistic character of his pupils. Complementing these two Mass settings, the Accademia Vocale di Genova and Roberta Paraninfo present a complete recording of the Vespers which Haydn wrote for the Feast of the Holy Innocents in 1787. Though these attractive choral rarities have been recorded before, this is the only album to present all three complementary works together, and in modern recordings informed by the scale and performance practice which the composer himself would have known. Roberta Paraninfo founded the Accademia Vocale di Genova in 1995, and they have specialised ever since then in choral works of the Renaissance, Baroque and Classical periods.

Recorded 2-4 July 2021 at the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Monte, Genova, Italy.