The Choir celebrated Ascension Day at All Saints Fulham by singing parts of Joseph Haydn‘s Missa brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo (commonly known as the Little Organ Mass) during a special service of Eucharist at 8pm on Thursday 14th May.
Haydn (1732–1809) wrote this mass setting in 1775 for Barmherzige Brüder, a religious order. It was first performed in the Order’s small chapel in Eisenstadt (which is now in Austria but was ruled by Hungarian princes during Haydn’s lifetime) which has a “little organ” hence the nickname.
For most of Hadyn’s life, he worked for the Esterhazy family in Vienna initially as assistant then as the Kappelmeister (Director of Music). This gave him both a steady income and ample time to compose. Haydn was a prolific composer; there are over 750 different pieces of music authored by him which equates to roughly 340 hours including symphonies, masses, operas, folk songs, works for string quartets, and piano trios.
The audio is a performance of the Agnus Dei by Romanian Madrigal Choir (conducted by Marin Constantin) and London Philarmonic Orchestra – Conductor Ion Marin.