Haydn Nelson Mass

London Symphony Orchestra/François-Xavier Roth

Photo of musician Roth

François-Xavier Roth unites three atmospheric masterpieces by composers at the forefront of modern music in their time – Haydn, Bartók and Ligeti.

These are three composers who translated their surroundings into music in ways never heard before, each bringing a new take to the European tradition.

Ligeti’s Lontano conjures images of ‘long submerged dream worlds of childhood’, with its thundering bass and nails-down-a-chalkboard strings, and has featured in films The Shining and Shutter Island.

Travelling back in time, we reach Bartók’s Cantata profana, a choral work with rich walls of sound and driving rhythms – a secular take on the religious form, and a reflection on the Great Depression – before arriving at Haydn’s Nelson Mass. In the wake of Napoleon’s advance on Austria, this was a ‘Mass for Troubled Times’, which revived the traditional form as a symphonic choral masterpiece.

Change of artist
Matthew Rose has had to withdraw from this concert for personal reasons. The bass soloists this evening will now be Christopher Purves in Haydn’s Nelson Mass, and William Thomas in Bartók’s Cantata profana. The LSO is extremely grateful to both artists for agreeing to step in at short notice.
Posted 12.50pm, Fri 9 Nov 2018

Barbican Hall