Salzburg Festival Blog 20 (14 Aug)

The last rehearsal in Orchesterhaus for our Haydn programme. Joel (Prieto), our excellent tenor soloist, is not well and says he will probably save his voice. We make a run of the whole piece and then corrections. (Not too many!) Florian Birsak (brother of our viola player Rupert) and a guest does a fine job on organ continuo.

After the pause we run the other piece in the programme, Haydn’s sublime and haunting ‘Lamentazione Symphony (N0.26). This short three-movement work, makes extensive use of plainchant material, encapsulates the ‘sturm and drang’ affect in a turbulent 1st movement which is followed by a radiant , spiritual ‘Adagio’. The symphony has only three movements (rare , but not unheard of for Haydn at this (Esterhaza) time, and ends enigmatically with a humorous and questioning Menuet and Trio.

In the afternoon it’s over to the Mozarteum for the public Dress rehearsal. Joel sings out (and well) and the Stabat Mater which ends the programme gets an ecstatic response from our public. We feel vindicated, not least in this ‘Haydn’ year in having presented a Mozart Matinee without any Mozart!