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MF15 The Sixteen

Bath Mozartfest 2024

Bath Abbey

The Sixteen
Choir & Orchestra


Harry Christophers conductor
Hilary Cronin soprano
Nancy Cole alto
Jeremy Budd tenor
Ben Davies bass


Mozart Ave Verum Corpus K 618
Mozart Vesperae Solennes de Confessore K 339
Haydn Nelson Mass (Missa in Angustiis)


The Sixteen’s Bath Abbey concert opens with Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus, just 46 bars containing three minutes of music yet capable of leaving the listener as moved as an entire opera, then his liturgical masterpiece Vesperae Solennes de Confessore K339. Haydn’s mighty Nelson Mass, Missa in Angustiis (Mass for Troubled Times), will complete this powerful programme. Arguably Haydn’s greatest work, it was written at a time of existential angst for Austria as Napoleon threatened Vienna itself. What Haydn didn’t know as he composed was that Nelson’s fleet had defeated Napoleon in the Battle of the Nile and was being heralded as the ‘saviour of Europe’. Reports of his victory may have reached Haydn and his audience on the day of the Mass’s first performance in September 1798. Certainly it then gradually acquired this name, and Napoleon’s defeat changed the way that the Mass was heard too, its menacing opening leading into following drama became a depiction of danger and agitation supplanted by triumphant victory.


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General on sale: 18th Jul 2024

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MF15 The Sixteen