Joined by organist Ian Curror and a string orchestra led by Susan Smallshire, the Ashburton Singers directed by Bridget Ansell performed Haydn Little Organ Mass and Rheinberger Stabat Mater
Haydn’s Missa Brevis Sancti Johannis de Deo, known as the Little Organ Mass, was composed in the mid-1770s for the Brothers of Mercy who ran the hospital in Eisenstadt, where Haydn lived while employed by Prince Esterhazy.
Intimate and short, with some movements less than a minute long, this cheerful work is full of expressive melody and quiet reverence. It is scored for solo soprano, a four-part choir and modest orchestra with an organ, which has a charming solo in the Benedictus.
A feminine perspective can be felt in Rheinberger’s dramatic and heartfelt Stabat Mater. Rheinberger’s music stands firmly in the line from Bach, Haydn and Beethoven, and his style is characterised by flowing melodic lines and the expressive use of harmonic colour.
Other seasonal music in the programme included Mozart’s Ave verum corpus, composed in the last year of his short life and justly counted among the most famous and well-loved choral pieces, and music by Victoria, Byrd, Bach, Beethoven, Bruckner and Gjeilo
Saturday 24th March 7.30 pm
St Luke’s Church, Buckfastleigh
Free entry Retiring collection