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Joseph Haydn

Theresian Mass, Hob. XXII:12

Vienna Boys Choir, Vienna State Opera men's choir, "Choralschola der Wiener Hofburgkapelle", Members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Martin Schebesta, Jeremy Joseph


Joseph Haydn: Theresienmesse B-flat major (Hob. XXII:12)

After Prince Paul Anton Esterházy had disbanded the court orchestra, thus leaving Joseph Haydn, now only formally Kapellmeister, free to go and earn fame with his symphonies in London, Prince Paul Anton's successor, Prince Nicholas II Esterházy, rebuilt the orchestra. To this end, he called Haydn back into his service. From then on, Haydn's most important compositional task was to be the annual composition of a mass for the prestigious name day of Princess Maria Josepha Hermenegild Esterházy (née Liechtenstein).

The "Theresienmesse" is one of Haydn's six late masses; these are among his greatest and most mature compositions, created when he was already highly respected internationally, uniting all the developments he had already made in his important instrumental works. Haydn was "somewhat proud" of his late masses, as he told his biographer Griesinger.

This mass, too, was probably written for the princess's name day; it was first performed in the Bergkirche in Eisenstadt in 1799.

Compared to the other late masses, the "Theresienmesse" is relatively intimate, not least because of its relatively small instrumentation, which corresponded to the newly reorganised Eisenstadt court chapel.

The mass is simply marked "Missa". How exactly the "Theresienmesse" got its (subsequent) name is not entirely clear - it is usually referred to the music-loving Empress Maria Theresia, the second wife of Franz II/I. Maria Helfgott

Translation: Godwin Gundacker using


Conductor: Martin Schebesta
Organist: Jeremy Jospeh
Choir: Vienna Boys Choir, Vienna State Opera men's choir, "Choralschola der Wiener Hofburgkapelle"
Orchestra: Members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

Celebrant: Peter Schipka

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[Translate to English:] Wr. Philharmoniker & Wr. Sängerknabe
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