Joseph Haydn : Kyrie from the Nelson mass (Arranged for Brass quintet)

Product Code : Haydn_01
The correct name for this mass is The Missa in Angustiis which means Mass for troubled times but is more commonly referred to as the Nelson Mass for the reason described below. It is one of fourteen masses written by Haydn, and is one of the six masses written near the end of his life which are, together, now seen as a culmination of Haydn's liturgical composition.
Haydn's chief biographer, H. C. Robbins Landon, has written that this mass "is arguably Haydn's greatest single composition". It was composed in 1798, and is one of the late masses by Haydn for the Esterhazy family composed after taking a short hiatus, during which elaborate church music was inhibited by the Josephinian reforms of the 1780s. The late sacred works of Haydn are masterworks, influenced by the experience of his London symphonies. They highlight the soloists and chorus while allowing the orchestra to play a prominent role.
Owing to the political and financial instability of this period in European history, Haydn's patron Nikolaus II dismissed the wind band octet, shortly before Haydn wrote the Missa in Angustiis for the Princess's name day. Haydn, therefore, was left with a "dark" orchestra composed of strings, trumpets, timpani, and organ. Later editors and arrangers added what they perceived to be missing woodwind parts, but the original scoring has again become the accepted choice for modern performances.
Though Haydn's reputation was at its peak in 1798, when he wrote this mass, the world was in turmoil. Napoleon had won four major battles with Austria in less than a year. The previous year, in early 1797, his armies had crossed the Alps and threatened Vienna itself. In May 1798, Napoleon invaded Egypt to destroy Britain's trade routes to the East. The summer of 1798 was therefore a terrifying time for Austria, and when Haydn finished this mass, his own title, in the catalogue of his works, was Missa in Angustiis (Mass for troubled times). What Haydn did not know when he wrote the mass, but what he and his audience heard (perhaps on September 15, the day of the very first performance), was that on 1 August, Napoleon had been dealt a stunning defeat in the Battle of the Nile by British forces led by Admiral Horatio Nelson. Because of this coincidence, the mass gradually acquired the nickname Lord Nelson Mass. The title became indelible when, in 1800, Lord Nelson himself visited the Palais Esterházy, accompanied by his mistress, Lady Hamilton, and may have heard the mass performed.
We are extremely pleased to be able to present this arrangement that has not previously been made available for brass ensemble until now. This was one of the most difficult pieces to arrange out of all the pieces that we have arranged so far due to the difficulty of achieving a good balance between the soloist, choral and orchestral parts since it is quite thickly scored which particularly stretches the resources of 5 players to the point that it requires very careful choice of where the most significant emphasis is required throughout the movement between soloist, choral, and orchestral accompaniment. However, we hope that you will enjoy trying this out and hopefully use it in a concert programme.
Technically, we would class this as intermediate difficulty, mainly due to the violin obligato parts that the trumpets are required to play in several places.
No. of Players : 5 Difficulty : Intermediate Arranged by : Mark Leigh
Download sample file : Click here
In most cases, this is the arrangment being played back using the Sibelius video export facility, but in some cases this is an actual performance by groups commissioned by Undiscovered Brass to actually perform the arrangment.
Kyrie from the Nelson mass (Arranged for Brass quintet)
Price : £20