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In Time of War

In Time of War

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  • Sun 16 Oct ’16, 3:00pm – 4:45pm


St Mary's Pro Cathedral, 373 Manchester St, Christchurch


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Full: $20.00
  • Concession: $15.00


CBS Music

Two musical masterpieces written in response to the threat of war will be presented by the CBS Choir and Orchestra on Sunday, October 16, at 3 pm. The issues they confront are just as topical today, as when first composed, and the humanity, wit, and realistic optimism of their creator seem more relevant than ever.

Joseph Haydn was at the height of his powers in 1794, when his Military Symphony, No. 100, was first heard in London. The previous year, France had been convulsed by the Reign of Terror, which followed its Revolution. Britain was now fighting the French allied to Austria and Russia. Only a century before, the Islamist armies of the Ottoman Empire had finally been defeated at the gates of Vienna, where Napoleon’s armies in 1809 would bombard both Haydn and Beethoven as they sheltered in their houses.

Much of the popularity of his Military Symphony came from its novel use of Turkish percussion instruments, used by the military bands of the traditional Ottoman enemy. Picturing their army within an orchestral battleground reminded European listeners of a continuing Islamist threat to their Judeo-Christian heritage, and perhaps defused some tension by transforming the sounds to almost comic proportions, in the manner of today’s cartoons and caricatures.

The other work, written three years later for an affectionate Austrian Princess, will be Haydn’s Paukenmesse the Kettledrum Mass, originally named the Missa In Tempore Belli or Mass In Time Of War. Its menacing drum rolls and clarion trumpet calls reflect the agony of a country being invaded. During 1796 and 1797, Napoleon’s armies were relentlessly forcing their way through Austria as far as Graz.

CBS soloists are Stephanie Waterhouse, Louisa Pilkington, Michelle De Boer, Wally Enright, David O’Beirne and Ken Joblin. Natalia Lomeiko will lead the orchestra, and the musical director is Don Whelan. Admission will be by programme $20 and $15, available at the door.

The cathedral musicians maintain an extensive repertoire of masses and motets, sung each Sunday at 10:30 am Solemn Choral Mass. New members are welcome to the 7:30 pm Wednesday evening rehearsal at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral. Sight reading ability is expected.

Opportunities exist for choral leaders, who enjoy unique opportunities to perform solo roles in significant Mass and motet settings with the orchestra and choir. Leadership awards, and other scholarships, worth up to $3000 per year, are available to suitable applicants. Those interested are invited to contact the CBS Musical Director, Don Whelan, phone - 358-5873.

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