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M. Haydn: Mass & Vespers / The American Boychoir


Release Date: 03/06/2001 
Label:  Linn Records   Catalog #: 152   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Michael HaydnWolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Scott Dettra
Conductor:  James Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  American BoychoirNew York Collegium members
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 17 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

M. HAYDN Mass and Vespers for the Feast of Holy Innocents • James Litton, cond; American Boychoir; New York Collegium • LINN CKD 152 (77:21 Text and Translation)

"The Michael Haydn album on Linn is very successful, and satisfies my need to hear the choir in a sustained “serious” program. In the Middle Ages in Europe, December 28, the Feast of the Holy Innocents, became the day the church celebrated childhood. The tradition grew up that Mass would be celebrated that day by children (i.e., boys), complete with a boy bishop. And this is what you get here. The setting of the Mass by this Haydn, brother of Franz Josef, dates from 1805, somewhat after the Middle Ages, of course, demonstrating the persistence of the tradition.
Read more I was delighted that, in addition to the Mass ordinary and Vespers settings, the performance interpolates into the Mass the propers of the day sung to plainchant, and the Vespers include plainchant antiphons. The offertory and voluntary in the Mass are instrumental church sonatas by Mozart (K 245 and 274), and the whole show runs to 77 minutes. The point, of course, is that Michael Haydn wrote for boys, not adults, and this results in a completely convincing portrayal of the music by the choir. It is not as if one is marveling at children singing grown-ups’ music. At no point does the composer write down to the performers and, as a result, ironically, one loses touch with the fact that one is listening to children. In the opening Introit, the boys’ unaccompanied plainchant is top-notch, Linn providing just the right acoustic so that one almost regrets the intervention of the New York Collegium for the Kyrie. But not for long; the interplay of the orchestra and choir is beautifully captured, both by the engineers and the conductor, and the reading of the whole work is invariably judicious. The orchestra (two horns, organ, and strings, 4/4/0/2/1) is crisp and accompanies assertively, and the choir of 2000 is a match for its current colleagues."

FANFARE: Jeremy Marchant
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Works on This Recording

1.
Missa S Leopoldi, KLI 24 by Michael Haydn
Conductor:  James Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  American Boychoir,  New York Collegium members
Period: Classical 
Written: 1805; Salzburg, Austria 
Length: 17 Minutes 35 Secs. 
2.
Vesperae pro festo Sanctissimae Innocentium, KLIV 5 by Michael Haydn
Conductor:  James Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  American Boychoir,  New York Collegium members
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Austria 
Length: 29 Minutes 13 Secs. 
3.
Graduale in festo Innocentium die Dominica by Michael Haydn
Conductor:  James Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  American Boychoir,  New York Collegium members
Period: Classical 
Written: 1783; Austria 
Length: 13 Minutes 32 Secs. 
4.
Church Sonata for Organ and Strings no 11 in D major, K 245 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Scott Dettra (Organ)
Conductor:  James Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Collegium members
Period: Classical 
Written: 1776; Salzburg, Austria 
Length: 3 Minutes 7 Secs. 
5.
Church Sonata for Organ and Strings no 13 in G major, K 274 (271d) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Scott Dettra (Organ)
Conductor:  James Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Collegium members
Period: Classical 
Written: 1777; Salzburg, Austria 
Length: 2 Minutes 56 Secs. 

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