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Drumroll to Creation


Sun 29 Sep 2019, 3:00pm–4:30pm

Where: St Mary's Pro Cathedral, 373 Manchester St, Christchurch

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • General Admission: $20.00
  • Concession: $15.00
  • Additional fees may apply

Listed by: Don Whelan

Two Haydn masterworks will be presented by the CBS Choir & Orchestra on Sunday, September 29, at 3 pm in St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Manchester Street. Admission will be by programme $20 and $15, available at the door.

Haydn’s Drumroll Symphony takes its name from the ominous timpani roll with which it opens. This was his 103rd Symphony, second to last of his final series, written for a sensationally popular subscription season.

It combines Mozartian elegance with the drama and excitement of Beethoven, and transforms several popular Croatian folk tunes into dancing orchestral movements. At its first performance in London, 1795, the audience was riveted by the prominence of the drums, and encored the second movement, which contains a florid violin solo. The CBS Orchestra will be led for this concert by Iselta Allison.

Second-last of the six great Masses he wrote annually at the end of his life, Haydn's Creation Mass incorporates all his symphonic skill. It was written for the Princess Esterhazy, whose palace in Eisenstadt is only a few minutes walk from the Bergkirche (Church on the Hill), where it was first performed in 1801.

The Mass takes its name from an echo of a playful duet in the Creation oratorio between Adam and Eve, when the bass soloist sings "qui tollis peccata mundi". Orchestral colour is enhanced by a complete woodwind section, and the organ has a solo in the "et incarnatus est" of the Credo. The Creation Mass reveals a fascinating variety of pace and expression, as it moves from an opening Kyrie of majestic severity to the brilliant fanfares and fugal exuberance of the closing Dona Nobis Pacem.

Structurally, the work shares many of the symphonic elements of his other late Masses, with perhaps rather more opportunity for the soloists to be heard individually. For this concert, they will be Sarah-Jane Rennie, Louisa Pilkington, Adrian Lowe and Ken Joblin. Musical Director will be Don Whelan.

The cathedral musicians maintain an extensive repertoire of masses and motets, sung each Sunday at the 10.30 a.m. Solemn Choral Mass. New members are welcome to the 7.30 pm Wednesday evening rehearsal at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral. Sight reading ability is expected.

Opportunities exist for choral leaders, who enjoy unique opportunities to perform solo roles in significant Mass and motet settings with the orchestra and choir. Leadership awards, and other scholarships are available to suitable applicants. Those interested are invited to contact the CBS Musical Director, Don Whelan, phone 358-5873.

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