Franz Joseph Haydn's Mass in D Minor -- the "Lord Nelson" Mass -- will be the featured work in a concert given by the Ithaca College Chorus on Wednesday, April 23.
The free performance will begin at 8:15 p.m. in Ford Hall in the James J. Whalen Center for Music. The chorus, under the direction of Janet Galván, will be joined by faculty soloists Deborah Montgomery (soprano), Kelly Samarzea (mezzo-soprano), Shawn Puller (tenor), and Randie Blooding (baritone).
Haydn's Mass in D Minor was written in the summer of 1798. Possibly because of the political instability threatening central Europe at that time, Haydn originally named his work "Missa in Angustiis" (mass in fear). The title "Lord Nelson" Mass was applied by others sometime after 1800, the year the work was performed for British admiral Lord Nelson during his visit to the Austro-Hungarian court. Given Haydn's own title, it is puzzling that the mass is not a dark work. In fact, much of the mass evokes joyful feelings that seem unrelated to the somber title.
The largest independent choral ensemble in the School of Music, the Ithaca College Chorus is composed of students from many majors. Last year the group performed Handel's "Messiah" with the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra at the State Theatre in downtown Ithaca. The chorus has recently performed Fauré's Requiem, Brahms's Liebeslieder Waltzes, and Pinkham's Christmas Cantata.
A professor of music education at the College and artistic director of the Ithaca Children's Choir, Galván is noted for her ability to conduct choirs of all ages. In addition to conducting all-state and regional choral festivals throughout the country, she recently appeared in Carnegie Hall to guest conduct the North American Children's Chorale.
Contributed by Erik Kibelsbeck