Haydn: Paukenmesse and Nelson Mass (RPO SP 054) will be available in record stores and online from December 2016

This December, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra releases a new recording on its own label, RPO Records, in collaboration with the City of London Choir. Undertaken as part of a well-received London concert series of Haydn's six late masses the recording, under the baton of the Choir's Artistic Director Hilary Davan Wetton, features the composer's two great settings written in response to troubled times and political disturbance.

The Nelson Mass ('Mass In Time Of Fear') is arguably Haydn's most dramatic and exciting mass - famous for its striking scoring, fine fugal writing and the thrilling syncopated 'amens' building to a shattering brass climax. Mass In Time Of War ('Paukenmesse') echoes this unrest with its famous prominent timpani part, yet the music concludes on a note of triumphant optimism.

Hilary Davan Wetton (Artistic Director, City of London Choir) says of this recording,

"The late Haydn Masses are arguably the pinnacle of Haydn's achievement; they demonstrate a mastery of choral and orchestral techniques unmatched in the period. For both the City of London Choir and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra preparing, performing and recording these works has been a stimulating journey of discovery. The sheer exhilaration of both pieces - as well as the moments of quiet intensity - has been wonderfully captured. The two pieces set the same text in a wholly different way, yet both seem entirely convincing, indeed inevitable - the mark of a truly great composer at the height of his powers."

The next concert in the Haydn series is on 23 March 2017 (Haydn's Mass in B flat major, 'Theresienmesse'). An interview of Hilary Davan Wetton discussing the Haydn concert series can be accessed on the RPO YouTube channel. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and City of London Choir also join forces for A Choral Christmas on 6 December 2016 at Cadogan Hall.

"Davan Wetton the master of the music, energising it, caring for it while ensuring strength of purpose... The City Of London Choir was outstanding – honed and committed – [and] the RPO consistently neat and stylish."

Classical Source (Haydn concert series)

Haydn: Paukenmesse and Nelson Mass (RPO SP 054) will be available in record stores and online from December 2016.

For further press information please contact:

Chris Evans
Director of Press and Marketing, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Email: eThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: +44 (0)20 7608 8836

Recording information:

  • Orchestra: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Choir: City of London Choir
  • Conductor: Hilary Davan Wetton
  • Soloists: Rachel Nicholls, Grace Davidson, Anna Harvey, Mark Wilde, Ashley Riches
  • Producer: Andrew Walton
  • Composer: Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

Track listing:

Mass In Time Of War (Missa in tempore belli – 'Paukenmesse', Hob. XXII:9)
1. Kyrie 4:18
2. Gloria: Gloria in excelsis Deo 3:07
3. Qui tollis peccata mundi 6:07
4. Quoniam tu solus sanctus 2:28
5. Credo: Credo in unum Deum 1:15
6. Et incarnatus est 4:01
7. Et resurrexit 4:59
8. Sanctus 2:13
9. Benedictus 6:45
10. Agnus Dei 5:40

'Nelson Mass' (Missa in Angustiis, Hob. XXII:11)
11. Kyrie 4:30
12. Gloria: Gloria in excelsis Deo 3:38
13. Qui tollis peccata mundi 4:03
14. Quoniam tu solus sanctus 2:43
15. Credo: Credo in unum Deum 1:31
16. Et incarnatus est 3:57
17. Et resurrexit 3:48
18. Sanctus 2:20
19. Benedictus 7:27
20. Agnus Dei 6:01

Performance dates:

Notes to Editors

About the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO)

This year the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) celebrates 70 years at the forefront of music-making in the UK. Its home base at London's Cadogan Hall serves as a springboard for fourteen residencies across the country. With more concerts than any other UK large ensemble, the RPO has truly become Britain's national orchestra. The regional programme, plus regular performances at Cadogan Hall, Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall and the Royal Albert Hall, are conducted by a distinguished roster of musicians: Charles Dutoit, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor; Pinchas Zukerman, Principal Guest Conductor; Alexander Shelley, Principal Associate Conductor, and Permanent Associate Conductor Grzegorz Nowak. International touring is also vital to the Orchestra's work, taking it to many prestigious destinations worldwide.

For more than twenty years RPO Resound, the Orchestra's community and education programme, has taken music into the heart of the regions that the Orchestra serves. From Azerbaijan to Jamaica and from Shanghai to Scunthorpe, the team – comprising the majority of the Orchestra – has worked with young people, the homeless, recovering stroke patients (in the celebrated STROKESTRA project in Hull) and in settings ranging from the Sea Life London Aquarium to hospitals, orphanages and children's hospices.

Although the RPO embraces twenty-first century opportunities, its artistic priority remains paramount: the making of great music at the highest level for the widest possible audience. The RPO's versatility and high standards mark it out as one of today's most open-minded, forward-thinking symphony orchestras. This would have been lauded by its Founder, Sir Thomas Beecham, who set up the RPO in 1946, leading a vital revival in the UK's orchestral life after World War II. Since then, the RPO's principal conductors have included Rudolf Kempe, Antal Doráti, Walter Weller, André Previn, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Yuri Temirkanov and Daniele Gatti and its repertoire has encompassed every strand of music. Now it proudly looks forward to the future.

Read the full Royal Philharmonic Orchestra biography...

About City of London Choir

The City of London Choir (CLC) recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding and has been described as 'perhaps our finest amateur singers' (Sunday Telegraph). Under the inspirational leadership of Hilary Davan Wetton, it undertakes a busy annual programme, performing regularly at the Barbican, Cadogan Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall and St John's, Smith Square. The Choir's discography under Hilary Davan Wetton includes: Flowers of the Field (Naxos), featuring Jeremy Irons and baritone Roderick Williams, which was released in November 2014 to great critical acclaim, went straight to the top of the Specialist Classical Chart and had twelve weeks in the top ten; In Terra Pax: A Christmas Anthology (Naxos), which was widely praised and reached no. 2 in the Gramophone Classical Chart; the first UK recording of Beethoven's 'peace cantata' Der glorreiche Augenblick (Naxos) with the RPO; and Cantata for Christmas by John Gardner (EM Records). Plans for 2017 include Carmina Burana at the Royal Festival Hall in February, Haydn's Theresienmesse at Cadogan Hall in March and a programme of music by Eric Whitacre, conducted by the composer, at the Royal Albert Hall in May, all with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

About Hilary Davan Wetton, Conductor

Artistic Director of the City of London Choir since 1989, Hilary Davan Wetton is also Conductor Emeritus of Guildford Choral Society, Associate Conductor of the London Mozart Players and Artistic Director of Leicester Philharmonic Choir. With a career spanning 50 years, he is particularly associated with 19th and 20th century British composers: he has conducted many first performances for British composers as well as neglected works by Parry, Holst, Dyson, Bridge and Samuel Wesley. He was founder/conductor of the Holst Singers. Hilary Davan Wetton's long and successful recording career includes a series of acclaimed recordings for Collins Classics with the LPO including Holst's Planets and Elgar's Enigma Variations, a much admired disc of Vaughan Williams' Hodie for Naxos, Holst's Choral Symphony (awarded the coveted Diapason d'Or), and widely praised discs for Naxos and EM Records with the City of London Choir. Hilary Davan Wetton has broadcast frequently for the BBC and Classic FM.

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