Mozart wrote his Serenade K525 in 1787, while he was working on his opera Don Giovanni, but the piece wasn’t performed until long after his death. Today, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik – as it is now known – is possibly Mozart’s most recognised and popular work, and has been described as ‘...an occasional piece from a light but happy pen’.
Originally entitled a Mass for Troubled Times, the spirit of Haydn’s Nelson Mass reflected the prevailing unease in Austria after Napoleon had defeated the country’s army in 1798. The work is considered by many to be the composer’s finest.
What Haydn didn’t know, as he created the piece, was that the British had dealt Napoleon a stunning defeat in the Battle of the Nile, and Admiral Nelson was heralded as the 'saviour of Europe'. The Englishman’s name became attached to the piece, and the title became firmly fixed when, in 1800, Nelson himself visited the Esterhazy court, accompanied by his mistress, Lady Hamilton, where they met the composer.
In a programme which also includes Mozart’s sublime Ave Verum Corpus, Collegium Musicum of London Chamber Choir and Players join forces with an accomplished ensemble of soloists for an evening celebrating some of classical Vienna’s most popular masterpieces.