Joseph Haydn: Missa Sancti Nicolai G-Dur (Hob. XXII:6) – Nikolaimesse
In the Catholic tradition, the name day (instead of the birthday) was celebrated in a big fashion. Haydn titled this mass "Missa Sancti Nicolai In Nomine Domini di me Giuseppe Haydn 772", thus the mass is dedicated to Saint Nicholas and was probably composed for the name day of Haydn's employer, Nicholas II Prince Esterházy, in 1772. It was first performed in the princely castle chapel of Eisenstadt. St. Nicholas' Day is 6 December, which already falls in the Advent season - a fact that could explain the partly pastoral, almost folk-like and rather intimate character of the mass. Pastoral music with violins, oboes and horns, 6/8 metre, triadic figures and songlike melodicism, as this Mass shows, was very popular at the time in general, but especially at Christmas time. Haydn himself seems to have appreciated the Mass, for he later performed it again on several occasions, as did his successor Johann Nepomuk Hummel. For this purpose, the originally rather small instrumentation was also expanded.
The contemporary biographer G. A. Griesinger wrote of Haydn: His "devotion was not of the sombre, always penitent kind, but cheerful, reconciled, trusting." And this kind of piety is also reflected in his masses.
Dr.in Maria Helfgott
Translation: Godwin Gundacker
Conductor: Johannes Ebenbauer,
Organist: Elke Eckerstorfer
Choir: Vienna Boys Choir, Members of the Vienna State Opera men's choir, "Choralschola der Wiener Hofburgkapelle"
Orchestra: Members of the Vienna State Opera orchestra
Celebrant: Peter Schipka
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