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Marking the First World War Centenary

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Thank you to everyone who joined us on Saturday 10th November, when we marked the centenary of the end of the First World War with a Remembrance Concert in Llandaff Cathedral. We were delighted to work with soloists Elin Manahan Thomas, Rachael Cox, Ed Hastings (standing in for Andrew Henley) and Craig Bissex, plus an orchestra of strings, harp, trumpets and timpani.

The two pieces that we performed in this beautiful venue were Joseph Haydn’s exhilarating Nelson Mass and Maurice Duruflé’s warm and beautiful Requiem.

The Nelson Mass (or Missa in Angustiis) was written in 1798 against the backdrop of the French Revolutionary Wars. It was a politically unstable and turbulent time; Napoleon had repeatedly defeated the Austrian army and advanced over the Alps. Haydn wrote this mass as one of a series of masses commissioned by Prince Nicholaus Esterházy II. The title, Missa in Angustiis, can be translated as ‘Mass for Troubled Times’ or ‘Mass in Straitened Times’. This may refer to the political situation, or the fact that Prince Nicholaus had dismissed his wind musicians, leaving Haydn to score this for strings, trumpet, organ and timpani.

The second half of the concert was a contrast, with Duruflé’s meditative Requiem. Duruflé had been a chorister at Rouen Cathedral Choir School; the influence of its plainsong tradition can be seen in this composition. Based on the Gregorian Mass for the Dead, this piece was commissioned in 1941 by the Vichy regime, but was not completed until 1947.

We do hope that you enjoyed the concert, details of future events can be found under the ‘Concerts’ tab or on our Facebook and Twitter accounts. [/av_textblock]

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