Ian Page and his ensemble The Mozartists return to Cadogan Hall to present the UK premiere of Haydn’s neglected cantata Applausus with a cast of young British singers on 15 March. Applausus was commissioned to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Cistercian abbot taking his monastic vows in Zwettl, Austria, and the work has since been largely forgotten. Ian Page will give a pre-concert talk at 6:15pm about the work and its historical context.
The cast includes soprano Ellie Laugharne, tenor Thomas Elwin and bass David Shipley, all of which are Associate Artists of The Mozartists, alongside Elspeth Marrow and John Savournin, both making their company débuts.
The one-act cantata is sung in Latin and the allegorical plot recalls medieval literary traditions as the four cardinal virtues of Temperance, Prudence, Justice and Fortitude – joined by the personification of Theology – extol their host’s qualities and achievements.
“It seems extraordinary that an extended work by Haydn should never previously have received a live public performance in the UK, but as far as we can ascertain this is the case. As so often happens with Haydn in particular, the deeper you delve the more quality you discover, and Haydn himself seems to have had a high opinion of the piece. I have thoroughly enjoyed the process of getting to know this long neglected composition, and am greatly looking forward to sharing the fruits of our work with our audience at Cadogan Hall.” Ian Page, Artistic Director of The Mozartists
The performance is part of The Mozartist’s ongoing MOZART 250 series which is an ambitious 27-year project which seeks to re-tread the steps of musical history and explore the trajectory of Mozart’s life, music and influences in chronological sequence. Each year Ian Page and his ensemble are devoting part of their programme to an exploration of the music that was being composed by Mozart and his contemporaries exactly 250 years previously. 2018 sees them continue the series into its fourth year, exploring the music of 12-year-old Mozart, who was living in Vienna with his family.