Franz Joseph Haydn
Symphony in D major Hob. I:93
Locus iste, gradual in C major for chorus
Pie Jesu for soprano, organ, harp and strings
Cantique de Jean Racine Op. 11 for chorus, harp and strings
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Laudate Dominum from Vesperae Solennes de Confessore K. 339 for soprano, chorus, horn, organ and strings
Ave verum corpus, motet in D major K. 618 for chorus, organ and strings
Symphony in E flat major K. 543
Franz Joseph Haydn - Symphony in D major Hob. I:93
In 1790 Haydn was invited to compose a cycle of symphonies for the London theaters. The attractive offer, both in economic terms and in terms of prestige, came from Johann Peter Salomon, theatrical impresario and conductor of an orchestra he founded in the British capital. Haydn accepted and arrived in England immediately went to work. Between 1791 and 1792 the first of two cycles of symphonies was born - twelve in all - called 'Londoners'. The Symphony No. 93 in D major, the first of the cycle, was baptized by Salomon, who at the head of his orchestra conducted it on February 17, 1792, enjoying enormous success. Like the other sisters of the group, the Symphony no. 93 opens with an Adagio with a solemn tone that introduces the Allegro, where the first theme in waltz rhythm stands out. In the bottom brackets - Largo cantabile and Minuetto - Haydn plays and has fun with dynamic contrasts and timbre solutions rich in humor; while the fourth movement, all verve and energy, closes the work in the name of joy.
Anton Bruckner - Locus iste
The short motet for mixed choir Locus iste - based on the text of the Latin gradual of the same name - was composed by Anton Bruckner in 1869 for the consecration of the votive chapel of Linz cathedral. After all, Bruckner's career had begun right between the silence of the aisles of the Austrian cathedrals (including that of Linz) where he made his bones as an organist experimenting far and wide with the various forms of sacred music. It is therefore not surprising that in his catalog religious compositions stand out for quantity and that the motetistic production, in particular, occupies a prominent place having accompanied Bruckner from the early years of his career to his great symphonic experience. Unlike his other markedly archaic sacred works, the Locus iste stands out for its simple and linear melody and for its predominantly homorhythmic trend.
Lili Boulanger - Pie Jesu for soprano, organ, harp and strings
The first female composer to win the prestigious 'Prix de Rome' in 1913, Lili Boulanger seems destined for a successful career were it not for a disabling illness that came too early to block her way and lead to her death at the age of twenty-four. Precisely in the last years of her life, however, Lili composed some of her most successful works. In March 1918, the sickly-exhausted composer no longer had the strength to write music, but nevertheless managed to dictate, note after note, the cantata Pie Jesu to her sister Nadia, also a composer and well-known teacher. The Pie Jesu is a sort of musical testament in which the universal invocation to eternal peace addressed to the merciful son of God takes on an absolutely autobiographical value. A long ostinato of organ and strings accompanies a painful and distressed vocal melody with a labored gait. Only at the end a comforting flash of light makes its way with the ethereal sound of the harp: it is the promise of long-awaited peace in a world that is no longer earthly.
Gabriel Fauré - Cantique de Jean Racine Op. 11
In 1865 the Cantique de Jean Racine op. 11 won the young Gabriel Fauré first prize in the competition held by the École Niedermeyer in Paris, the most important institution of sacred music of which Fauré had been one of the best students. The text taken from Jean Racine's translation of the Latin hymn Consors paterni, attributed to St. Ambrose, is declined in a clear and elegant script, a characteristic of Fauré's style already found in this early page. The piece, originally written for mixed choir and organ, will be performed in a version for choir, harp and strings by Manfred Honeck.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Laudate Dominum from Vesperae Solennes de Confessore K. 339
In the years he spent in the service of the Archbishop of Salzburg Mozart had produced numerous compositions of sacred music intended to celebrate the solemnities of the liturgical calendar. I Vespri K. 339 - the last work of the Salzburg sacred production - were composed in 1780 on the occasion of a ceremony in honor of an unidentified holy confessor of the Church. In Vespri - composed of five Psalms of the Vulgate (Dixit Dominus, Confitebor, Beatus Vir, Laudate Pueri, Laudate Dominum) plus the final Magnificat - pages written in severe counterpoint and hedonistic pages of evident theatrical imprint coexist harmoniously. To the latter group belongs the Laudate Dominum, aria for soprano, choir and orchestra where the melody of the soloist hovering over a subdued orchestral accompaniment is pure poetry, it is the enchantment of sound that makes you forget any genre or classification.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Ave verum corpus K. 618
The short motet for choir, strings and organ Ave verum corpus K. 618 is one of the best known and most loved pieces of Mozart's sacred production. In the summer of 1791 Mozart had joined his wife on holiday in Baden and to repay his friend Anton Stoll, director of the local choir, he composed this page which was performed during the celebrations of the feast of Corpus Domini. In the Ave verum Mozart adopts a homophonic script to better emphasize the meaning of the text, realizing even in the brevity - only forty-six bars - and with few instrumental means - the staff is reduced to only strings and organ given the destination for the village church - a jewel of expressive immediacy.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Symphony in E flat major K. 543
Before Mozart's last three symphonies, the Symphony in E flat major K. 543 was composed in June 1788. For Mozart that year was really difficult on a personal side - between the worries of a disastrous economic situation and the disappointment he suffered over the Don Giovanni's failed Viennese success - but also fruitful in terms of creativity. In that summer, under the burning thrust of his talent, Mozart gave birth to the three symphonic masterpieces that close his production in the genre and represent the culmination of his orchestral art. In Symphony K. 543 for the first time Mozart used clarinets instead of oboes, instruments that at the time did not yet have a stable arrangement in the orchestra but were particularly loved by the composer for their soft and mellow timbre. Following Haydn's venerable model, Symphony K. 543 opens with an impressive introductory Adagio: vigorous chords followed by tension-laden ascending and descending scales open the way to the first theme of the Allegro, which at first enters almost tiptoe to then gain strength supported by trumpets and timpani. The Andante is built on a theme of serene singing, but unexpectedly takes on dark and dramatic colors in the center. This is followed by a minuet with an imperious step that gives space in the Trio to the graceful dialogue between the flute and the pair of clarinets. The closing, on the other hand, is sparkling with the unstoppable momentum of the Allegro finale theme that bounces relentlessly among the various orchestral families.