You’ve heard of Papa Haydn, the first name in the Classic-era “Holy Trinity” (the other two being his young friend Mozart and his student Beethoven), but did you know he had a little brother? Michael Haydn, a Kapellmeister in Mozart’s hometown of Salzburg, had a unique musical voice, despite some similarities to that of his better-known sibling. In fact, the elder Haydn found the sacred works produced by his brother for Salzburg’s churches to be superior to his own, owing to their more intimate, devotional quality. The tough-to-impress Mozart, too, praised his talents.
Along with three of Michael Haydn’s beautiful Responsories for Holy Week, we’ll play (among other works) Joseph Haydn’s “Alleluja” Symphony (no. 30 in C major), the Nicolaimesse, and will feature organist Steve Wiberg on the charming Organ Concerto in D major, all using replicas of Classic-era instruments. As you experience the wit, humor, and emotional depth of Haydn’s music, the reason for the profound influence he exacted upon his contemporaries will become clear, demonstrating why at the time of his death he was one of the most revered of European composers.