Mozart: Mass in C minor
Barber: Adagio for Strings
Mozart: Mass in C Minor ‘Great’
Serenity, intensity and beauty. This is what links this reflective and uplifting spring programme from the Vivace Chorus. Regularly voted as one of the most popular pieces by classical music fans, the powerfully passionate Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber has been played at some of the most moving and poignant times in modern history, including during the TV announcement of the assassination of President John F Kennedy, at the Last Night of the Proms to commemorate victims of the 9/11 attacks and in 2016, outside the Brussels Stock Exchange, after the attacks there.
This is juxtaposed with a work so personal the composer kept it hidden from the public for 45 years: Howells wrote his Requiem in 1935 after the death of his son Michael, from spinal meningitis, aged just nine years old. Howells finally released this intensely private work in 1980, only three years before his own death. And, although from one of the world’s most prolific and celebrated composers, The Mass in C minor is regarded by many to be Mozart’s finest choral work, even finer than his incomplete Requiem, containing as it does some of his most exquisite musical utterances, created by the simplest and most beautiful of means.