The Masses of Joseph Haydn - Don V Moses and Robert W. Demaree

Joseph Haydn’s time has come,
especially for his Masses and other great choral works.

CoverIn this monumental volume (the first comprehensive study of the Haydn Masses since 1940, and the first such ever published in English), two well-known Haydn scholars fill a need now two centuries old. Haydn had been the father of the Classical style, yet for over a century study of his works lagged behind interest in his successors.

This book benefits hugely from the flood of new Haydn research flowing from the fall of the Berlin Wall and (above all) disciplined access to the private, protected archives of the Esterházy Princes who were the great composer’s patrons throughout his career. We know much that had been forgotten.

When Haydn finished his magnificent 1802 Mass in B-flat Major, the last great body of Latin Mass settings by a leading composer stood complete. His final major work, it brought to a close the long catalogue he had begun with his youthful Missa brevis in F Major in 1750. Over the centuries, the Lord Nelson Mass has been frequently performed, but most of the rest are barely known.

Demaree and Moses give each of the Masses a thorough, three-pronged examination, both precise and practical. Using largely newly-recovered evidence from Central Europe, they place each one in its historical context, Haydn’s place in the Habsburg Empire, from the time of Maria Theresia to the assaults of Napoleon. In a systematic format, they analyze each Mass, defining exactly how his work would come to guide Beethoven and others. They provide detailed instructions for the performance of these and other Haydn works.

"Revisiting these marvelous works by way of this monograph has been satisfying, thought-provoking, and illuminating. It is an important work of scholarship by two of this country's most knowledgeable Haydn scholar-performers.  No library should be without it, and no serious conductor should attempt a performance of one of Haydn's masses without consulting it."
David Rayl
                     Michigan State University
                     (from a review appearing in Fontes Artis Musicae)

Conductors, scholars, and all serious students of Joseph Haydn and the Viennese Classical era will be grateful for this beautifully-written study.