“Gaetano Donizetti is regarded as a master of the Italian opera in the first half of the 19th century, alongside Vincenzo Bellini. But his output of church music, comprising at least a hundred items, has hardly been explored. Two works stand out from the others – a requiem and a Messa di Gloria, which, in various versions, Donizetti himself has put together from individual movements in a cantata-like fashion. Making use of this contemporary procedure, another Messa di Gloria has now been retrieved, which shows how skillfully and effectively young Donizetti knew how to do his job as a composer as early as around 1820.”
While the German tradition observes a strict distinction between sacred and secular styles, the 19th-century Italian Mass can feel more akin to attending an operatic performance. Donizetti’s church music, consisting of at least a hundred items, has hardly been explored. Individual movements were often later recycled by the composer, in cantata-like fashion, to form a complete Mass, and it is this ad hoc technique that Franz Hauk has used to create a new work, the Messa di Gloria and Credo in D. This includes an expansive Qui sedes with its violin solo written for the famous violinist-composer Pietro Rovelli, and is completed with movements by Johann Simon Mayr from whom Donizetti learned his compositional craft in settings of sacred texts.
Listen to an extract from Messa di Gloria: Gloria in excelsis Deo
About the Artists
Franz Hauk studied church and school music, with piano and organ, at the Munich Musikhochschule and in Salzburg. In 1988 he took his doctorate with a thesis on church music in Munich at the beginning of the 19th century. Since 1982 he has served as organist at Ingolstadt Minster and, since 1995, as choirmaster. He has given concerts in Europe and the United States and made a number of recordings. Since October 2002 he has taught in the historical performance and church music department of the Munich Music and Theatre Hochschule.
The Simon Mayr Choir was established by Franz Hauk in 2003. The choir's repertoire includes works from the sixteenth to the twentieth century. A special emphasis is laid on authentic historical performance practice and on the promotion of music by Simon Mayr at the highest cultural level. Members of the choir are vocal students from the Munich Hochschule für Music und Theater, together with singers selected from Ingolstadt and the region.
The Chorus of the Bavarian State Opera boasts a long and distinguished history, sharing with the Bavarian State Orchestra and Bavarian State Ballet a repertoire of some 350 opera and ballet performances annually at the Munich National Theatre, the Prince Regent Theatre and the Cuvilliés Theatre.
Concerto de Bassus is an international ensemble that engages young musicians in historical performances of music from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Many members of the ensemble are outstanding students or graduates of the Munich Music and Theatre Hochschule, trained specifically in the Munich string tradition, or on wind instruments constructed on similar, historic principles.
More acclaimed recordings from Franz Hauk and the Simon Mayr Choir
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