MUSIC FOR THE ROYAL SHE
Henry Purcell: Birthday Ode for Queen Mary
George Frideric Handel: Te Deum for Queen Caroline
Joseph Haydn: Theresienmesse for the Empress Maria Therese
October 23-25, 2020
True Concord Choir, Soloists and Orchestra
PURCHASE SINGLE TICKETS:
Elegant, Regal — A Jubilant Celebration!
The sounds of an era, a distant time, a way of being.
Imagine courts and countries deciding who you were going to marry – sight unseen. Think of sailing through stormy seas to a distant shore, reaching land and walking with your new stranger-husband for miles through snow to reach a carriage. Finally, in slightly more royal style, a bumpy carriage reaches your new home in a large, cold castle.
Hers was a life of power without self-determination. Jealousy, whispers, great responsibility and little freedom.
At least she deserved a song!
Joseph Haydn composed six masses to celebrate the name-day of Princess Maria Therese (the last Holy Roman Empress and the first Empress of Austria), including the Theresienmesse for the Empress Maria Therese. An important patron of Viennese music, she commissioned many compositions to accompany her life in court.
The Empress herself was the soprano soloist at private performances of both The Creation and The Seasons in May 1801 at the Viennese Court.
I swear again, I would not be a queen for all the world.
William Shakespeare, Henry VIII, Act 2
The opening chorus of Henry Purcell’s Birthday Ode for Queen Mary is on the words “Welcome, welcome glorious morn.” Queen Mary made her mark in many ways: endowing hospitals and the College of William and Mary, influencing garden design, and popularizing blue and white porcelain and the keeping of goldfish as pets. And she inspired Purcell to great heights.
In 1714, the young princess Caroline traveled to Britain, making her only sea voyage to start her new life as Queen. Her safe arrival was celebrated by the composition of this Te Deum for Queen Caroline by George Frideric Handel. It was later played at her funeral, welcoming her to heaven.