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Drake choral ensembles to perform Haydn's 'Lord Nelson Mass'

April 10, 2011
News PhotoThree hundred Drake musicians, including the University's four choral ensembles, will unite for two performances of Franz Joseph Haydn's "Missa in angustiis" on Saturday, April 9, and Sunday, April 10.

The Saturday concert will begin at 8 p.m. and the Sunday concert will begin at 3 p.m.; both performances will be held at St. Ambrose Cathedral, 6th Ave. and High St., downtown Des Moines. Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for students; they can be purchased via the Drake Fine Arts Box Office, 515-281-3841.

In addition to the Drake Choir, Chamber Choir, Community Chorus and Chorale, the concerts will feature an instrumental orchestra comprised of Drake students and faculty members.

"Missa in angustiis," which translates to "mass for times of distress" is popularly known as the "Lord Nelson Mass." The piece was written in 1798 as Haydn's response to the political difficulties occurring in Europe as a result of Napoleon Bonaparte's rise to power and also serves as a reflection of the personal obstacles the composer was facing.

"The mass is still exciting and meaningful to performers and listeners alike, two centuries later," said Aimee Beckmann-Collier, Drake's director of choral studies and professor of conducting. "Given the current challenges facing the U.S. and the rest of the world, this piece is highly appropriate for a contemporary performance. It is filled with both darkly dramatic moments and joyful, electrifying sections. There's no doubt that all listeners will find the music stimulating and satisfying."

For more information, contact Beckmann-Collier at 515-271-2841 or aimee.beckmann-collier@drake.edu.

Drake University Choral Ensembles to perform Haydn's "Nelson Mass"

When: Saturday, April 9, 8:00 p.m.; Sunday, April 10, 3:00 p.m.

Where: St. Ambrose Cathedral, 6th Ave. and High St., downtown Des Moines

Cost: Tickets are $10 for non-students; $5 for students, and will be available at the Drake Fine Arts Box Office (515-271-3841) beginning March 28.