St Bride's: News - Choir & Orchestra join forces for a St Bride's Dvořák debut

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St Bride's: News

Choir & Orchestra join forces for a St Bride's Dvořák debut

Choir & Orchestra join forces for a St Bride's Dvořák debut

The Chapel of Lužany Castle

On June 16th (Trinity Sunday) our mass setting will be Antonín Dvořák's Mass in D.

This work was commissioned by Dvořák's friend, leading architect and patron of the arts, later the founder and first president of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Josef Hlavka. Hlavka had a new chapel built at his summer residence, a castle in Luzany in Western Bohemia, and he asked Dvořák to write a new mass for its consecration which took place on September 11, 1887. 

More used to large choral and orchestral forces, Dvořák seems to have genuinely enjoyed the process of writing for the smaller and more intimate venue:

"I have successfully completed the [Mass], and I am very pleased with it.  I believe it is a work that will fulfill its purpose. Up to now I wrote works of this kind only on a large scale and for a large number of performers. This time, however, I have written for only a modest presentation, and still I dare to claim that my work has turned out well."

Typically folk-like, more lyrical and prayerful than dramatic, its character has often been described as pastoral, reflecting Dvořák's love of nature and evoking the tranquil countryside surrounding Hlávka's chateau as well as suiting the more modest performing forces then available.

Originally conceived with (a highly ingenious) organ accompaniment, the slightly more elaborate version for orchestral accompaniment was created for his London publisher who was concerned that no choir will be interested in just organ accompaniment! At some point I am sure we will perform it in its original version, but for this Trinity Sunday I hope you will come and enjoy the music accompanied by our friends from the St Bride's Orchestra.

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