Choral society to perform work of Mozart in Axminster

PUBLISHED: 17:00 21 November 2017

Juliet Curnow will be perfroming the Axminster and District Choral Society. Picture: Contributed

Juliet Curnow will be perfroming the Axminster and District Choral Society. Picture: Contributed


Members of the Axminster and District Choral Society have been rehearsing since early September in preparation for this year’s autumn concert.

The 80-strong choir will present two major choral works from the late 18th century.

Mozart’s ever-popular Coronation Mass was composed for the Easter Day service in April 1779, while Mozart was in the service of the Archbishop of Salzburg.

Compact, grand, celebratory and resonant, it was performed again in Prague two years later and was very popular there, possibly because of the uncanny similarity between the soprano solo Agnus Dei and the Countess’s beautiful aria Dove sono from The Marriage of Figaro, which had been a great success there in the 1780s.

The highlight of the evening in the Minster may, however, turn out to be the Requiem in C minor by JM Haydn, the younger brother of Joseph Haydn.

In 1771 Michael’s daughter Aloysia Josepha died just before her first birthday.

In the same year, Haydn’s patron Archbishop Siegmund also died.

In a space of two weeks the young composer completed the Requiem pro defuncto Archiepiscopo Sigismundo and it was performed for the first time on December 31, 1771. Mozart, only fifteen years of age, was a member of the orchestra on that occasion. It left a profound impression on the young Mozart and there are some striking similarities to be found in Mozart’s own famous Requiem, written some 20 years later.

As an additional item on the programme, the orchestra will play Mozart’s delightful Church Sonata in C.

The soloists will be Harriet Mountford, soprano, making a welcome return to the Minster, Juliet Curnow, alto, who has appeared as a freelance soloist with many opera companies and choral societies across the UK, Ben Inman (tenor), fellow of the national youth choir and Sam Hucklebridge (bass)

The conductor will be Judy Martin and musical director Peter Parshall will play the continuo organ with the orchestra.

The concert will take place on Saturday, November 25, at the Minster, Axminster, at 7.30pm.

Tickets cost £15 and £12, from Archway Books, Church St, Axminster, members of the choir or phone 01404 881 838. For further information see website:

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