WNY Chamber Orchestra (Spring 2018)

ArtsOne students at WNY Chamber Orchestra performance, April 13, 2018

Arts One students attended a performance by the Western New York Chamber Orchestra, “The Musical Life of Haydn." The concert featured Haydn’s Symphony No. 44 “Farewell” and the “Theresien Mass” with the Fredonia Masterworks Choir and Fredonia School of Music Voice faculty as soloists.   

The “Farewell” Symphony No. 44 is one of Haydn’s most popular and the “Theresien Mass” gives people a unique opportunity to not only hear a Viennese style Mass, but also revel in the singing of the Fredonia Masterworks Choir under the direction of Dr. Adam Luebke. Faculty soloists will include: Lisa Layman, soprano; Lynne McMurtry, mezzo; Joe Dan Harper, tenor, and Daniel Ihasz, baritone.

The tale of how the symphony was composed was told by Haydn in old age. At that time, Haydn's patron Prince Nikolaus Esterházy was resident, together with all his musicians and retinue, at his favorite summer palace at Eszterháza in rural Hungary. The stay there had been longer than expected, and most of the musicians had been forced to leave their wives back at home in Eisenstadt, about a day's journey away. Longing to return, the musicians appealed to their Kapellmeister for help. The diplomatic Haydn, instead of making a direct appeal, put his request into the music of the symphony: during the final adagio each musician stops playing, snuffs out the candle on his music stand, and leaves in turn, so that at the end, there are just two muted violins left (played by Haydn himself and his concertmaster, Luigi Tomasini). Esterházy seems to have understood the message: the court returned to Eisenstadt the day following the performance.