Haydn’s ‘Theresienmesse’ at Christ Church St Laurence

'Christ the King', from The Orthodox Art Series by Earle Backen


Celebrating the anniversary of its Feast of Dedication, Christ Church St Laurence presents its annual Orchestral Mass, with its choir and orchestra performing Haydn’s Theresienmesse.

The performance includes Sir Hubert Parry’s I Was Glad  as the introit and the motet Behold the tabernacle of God by William Harris.  Soprano Amy Corkery, alto Anna Dowsley, tenor Pascal Herrington and bass Alexander Knight, are the vocal soloists with organist Peter Jewkes and music direction by Dr Neil McEwan. Fr John Stewart, Senior Assistant Priest at St James, King St will be the preacher.

Written in 1799, Haydn’s Theresienmesse, is in B flat major and named after Maria Theresa, empress consort of Francis II. It’s scored for solo quartet, chorus, strings, two clarinets, two trumpets, timpani and organ continuo.  There is a conspicuous absence of wind instruments in the ensemble. This is thought to be less to do with inventive orchestration by Haydn and more to do with a shortage of wind players at the time.

The exquisite image is of a painting ‘Christ the King’ by parishioner Earle Backen, part of that series painted for the church and which  hangs in the church.

Admission is free and all are welcome; there is wheelchair access from the right-hand side of the church on George St.






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