Haydn: Missa Brevis, Missa, 'Harmoniemesse' (Jörg Michael Schwarz/ REBEL Baroque Orchestra/ Trinity Choir) (Naxos: 8.572126)
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The Missa brevis in F is Haydn's earliest authenticated Mass and was written shortly before his departure from St Stephen's in Vienna, where he had been recruited as a choirboy around 1740. Haydn himself, on rediscovering the work almost fifty years later, said he admired it for 'the melody and a certain youthful fire'. In contrast, the Harmoniemesse, written for the nameday festivities of Prince Nicolaus II's wife in 1802, was to be Haydn's last major composition. Using a full Harmonie (wind band), the work's expressive intensity belies the end of its composer's career.
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