The baroque chamber orchestra Musica Angelica will join musical ensembles worldwide in paying tribute to Austrian composer Franz Joseph Haydn, or “Papa Haydn,” 200 years after his death during the “Musica Sacra” presentation at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 17th, at the First United Methodist Church, 1008 11th St., in Santa Monica.
The program of sacred music, conducted by music director Martin Haselbnck, will include Haydn’s Organ Concerto for Violin, Organ and Strings in F Major and Salve Regina for four voices, organ solo and orchestra. Also on the program are Mozart’s Church Sonatas, written to bridge the gap between the singing of the Epistle and the gospel during Mass, and Grabmusik for soprano, baritone and orchestra, K. 42.
The orchestra will perform works written thousands of miles from Austria as well.
“In 1804, when the young Spanish composer and missionary Juan Bautista Sancho, first set foot on Californian soil, Mozart had been dead for more than a decade and Haydn was an old man, writing his very last compositions,” explains Haselbnck, who will lead the orchestra in performances of Sancho’s Kyrie and Gloria from Missa de los Angeles.
“There is a strong connection between these three composers — the art of Musica Sacra, the desire to write for the festival liturgical service. The works we’ll hear are late baroque symbols of the universal, international language of music.”
General manager Laura Spino added, “At the same time Haydn was enjoying great success in Vienna and London, the first California Missions were built. Spanish composers like Sancho arrived in Mexico and were inspired to write music for these beautiful spaces.”
Joining Musica Angelica for “Musica Sacra” are soloists Mary Wilson, soprano, German-Mexican mezzo soprano Carolina Bruck-Santos, and baritone Christ/pheren Nomura.
Conductor Haselbnck, who has performed as a solo organist under such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti, and Fritz Stein, will appear as guest organist.
In addition, classical guitarist and composer Craig Russell will lead pre-concert lectures prior to both performances. Russell will perform with Musica Angelica during Musica Sacra.
Tickets to “Musica Sacra,” which can be purchased online at www.musicaangelica.org/, or by calling (310) 458-4504, range from $39 to $55. Student tickets cost $15.