SONGS OF REST was the second collaboration for 2015 between The Australian Haydn Ensemble and The Choir of St James’. The two groups also performed Bach’s ‘St John Passion’ in March.
In a nicely contrasted programme of works in Latin language, William Byrd’s expressive motet ‘Infelix Ego’ was surrounded by a different style of Mass from the brothers Haydn. The concert started with Franz Joseph Haydn’s ‘Missa Brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo’, known as the ‘Little Organ Mass’ (1775). Following the Byrd motet and interval, Johann Michael Haydn’s ‘Requiem in C minor’ was heard.
Haydn’s ‘Little Organ Mass’ was presented with the necessary clarity and simplicity of text delivery. As in both of the liturgical works, there was a superb balance between the orchestra and choir of fifteen singers. Shifting choral textures were equally well rendered. The vocal performances delivered strong tone colours and was rhythmically precise. Continue reading Songs of Rest – Australian Haydn Ensemble @ St James Church