Worship with music from Haydn’s Mass on February 17

Shirin McArthur

On Sunday morning, February 17, a mass by Franz Josef Haydn will be part of the 9:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist at Episcopal Church of the Apostles in Oro Valley.

Missa Brevis Sti. Joannis de Deo was composed in the 1770s for the Brothers of Mercy, whose patron saint was John of God, a Portuguese soldier who, after a religious conversion experience, dedicated himself to caring for the poor and the sick.

The mass calls for an ensemble entitled the Vienna Church Trio: two violins, cello and organ to accompany the choir. The chapel in which the Missa premiere took place and the organ Haydn played on this occasion are still extant in Eisenstadt, Austria. There is just enough room in the choir loft for the trio of string players, the organ (an instrument with only one keyboard and no pedals) and a choir of about 16. The choir at Church of the Apostles includes about the same number of singers.

Soprano Erika Burkhart of True Concord Voices will sing the soprano solo in the Benedictus, which also features a solo part for the organ. Guest musicians from the Tucson Symphony Orchestra will play the string parts.

Church of the Apostles is located at 12111 N. la Cholla Blvd., just north of Tangerine. Their Sunday services are at 7:30 and 9:30 a.m.