Magazine article The American Organist

Choral Old and New

Magazine article The American Organist

Choral Old and New

Article excerpt

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the death of Michael Haydn. Joseph's younger brother by five years, he was known as the "Salzburg Haydn " having succeeded Mozart as both court and cathedral organist. Among his students were Diabelli and van Weber. His music has a solid contrapuntal foundation, and he composed hundreds of sacred choral works, short and long. Here are just a few to consider during this year ... or any year.

PARATUM COR MEUM, Michael Haydn (National Music Publishers CH119), SATB and keyboard. Here is a verse from Psalm 108 that Haydn set as a Gradual. This gentle, genial setting of the words, "My heart is steadfast, O God," would he a good introduction to Michael Haydn's music. Parts for violins, two horns, and continue are available from the publisher. Medium difficulty. Only Latin words are included.

ERIPE ME, DOMINE, Michael Haydn (Presser Music 312-41743), SATB and keyboard. Here is another Gradual from Psalm 143:9-10, and both Latin and English words are included. The music is simple and direct, very much in a penitential mood. Another good introduction to Haydn's music and not difficult.

LAUDATE PUERI, Michael Haydn (Hinshaw HMC-1836), SSA with keyboard. Taken from Psalm 112 ("Praise the Lord, children"), this treble choir setting was one of the pieces Haydn composed after his time as a singer in the Vienna Boys Choir. It is a wonderful piece for a children's choir or young women's choir with its happy, Mozartean effervescence. It needs a good keyboardist. String parts are available from the publisher.

EX SION SPECIES, Michael Haydn (Presser Music 312-41713), SATB and keyboard. Composed for the second Sunday in Advent, this is a simple, forceful setting of Psalm 50:2-3, another of the more than 90 Graduais Haydn composed. It was during Haydn's time that the sung Gradual became popular again, replacing the instrumental interlude. …

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