WMC Centenary

Haydn - The Complete Masses

Haydn Complete Masses concerts by WMC

As part of the celebrations leading to the centenary of the Winchester Music Club in 2025 (see WMC History), we are performing all the surviving masses of Joseph Haydn, who came to Winchester in August 1794 during one of his visits to England. 

These twelve settings of the mass, which are being performed over eight concerts between 2017 and 2024, include some of the finest church music ever written. In particular, the last six masses, composed for the annual celebrations of the Feast of our Lady, cemented Haydn’s reputation across Europe at the end of the 18th century. Although often overlooked, in this area Haydn’s achievements exceed even those of his younger contemporary, Mozart.

A First for Winchester Music Club?

All Haydn’s masses have been recorded several times, but we do not think that any choir has attempted to perform them all live in concert as a series. Seven of the twelve will be receiving their first performances by the Winchester Music Club.

Other works to be featured

Other choral and instrumental works by Haydn will also feature during the series, including settings of the Te Deum and Salve Regina (his earliest known choral work), and concertos for various instruments, most notably his famous Trumpet Concerto. 

The concerts will include music by other composers who were contemporaries of Joseph Haydn: Mozart, Beethoven, and Michael Haydn, brother of Joseph. The cycle will conclude in March 2024 at the end of our 99th season, with a performance of Haydn’s last mass, the Harmoniemesse.

The Concerts

The series was launched on 19 March 2017 with a performance of Haydn’s most famous mass, the so-called ‘Nelson’ Mass (more properly the Missa in Angustiis), along with Mozart’s Solemn Vespers and an organ concerto by Haydn, with Jamal Sutton as soloist. 

Subsequent concerts have featured the ‘Great Organ Mass’ (No.4), the Mariazellermesse (No.8) and the ‘Creation Mass’ (No.13); until Covid-19 intervened, the 2020 concert would have included the ‘Little Organ Mass’ (No.7) and the Theresienmesse (No.12) – we hope to reschedule these at some point in the future. 

Coronavirus interrupts Haydn Series

Sadly, the pandemic has forced us to suspend this series pending a return to normal singing. Our choir and orchestra are keen to get together and enjoy proper rehearsals so that they can do justice to these great works.

Full details of our return to the series will be publicised as soon as possible. Thank you for your continuing support.