Mozart: Requiem (1791)
Mozart: Exsultate Jubilate
Haydn: Kyrie & Benedictus from the ‘Nelson Mass’
Bath Bach Choir
Guest artist Carolyn Sampson
Nigel Perrin conductor
Bath Bach Choir will perform its 2019 summer concert in front of the famous Scissor Arches at Wells Cathedral.
The programme, which brings together Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate, excerpts from Haydn’s Nelson Mass and the great Mozart Requiem, fulfills a long-held wish of the choir’s musical director, Nigel Perrin, to invite coloratura soprano Carolyn Sampson to perform with the choir. Miss Sampson’s 2019 schedule includes Bach in Tokyo, Handel in Philadelphia and, now, Mozart in Wells.
Exsultate Jubilate – today one of Mozart’s best-known pieces of sacred solo music – is also a piece for which Carolyn Sampson is renowned, having made what is held by many to be the definitive recording. Although Mozart was just 16 when he wrote it, to many it’s the sound of a genius at the peak of his imaginative powers.
Mozart’s Requiem transports us to the far end of his short life, and the work he believed he was composing for his own death, even though history confirms that it was commissioned by an Austrian count. He died before it was completed, and it remains one of the most powerful and poignant pieces in the choral repertoire.
In lieu of an overture the concert opens with the ‘Kyrie’ from Joseph Haydn’s so-called Nelson Mass which, along with trumpets and timpani, also showcases the coloratura solo soprano voice.
There is one intriguing link between the elements of this evening’s concert. Mozart wrote Exsultate Jubilate in 1773 for an Italian castrato opera singer named Venanzio Rauzzini, to wow audiences in Milan. Rauzzini eventually settled in Bath in 1780 and became director of the New Assembly Room Concerts. Haydn stayed with him as a guest for six weeks in 1794. Rauzzini died in 1810, and is buried in Bath Abbey.
We look forward to a feast of fabulous music for a midsummer’s evening in the majestic surroundings of Wells Cathedral.
Use of the Cathedral is by kind permission of the Chapter of Wells Cathedral.