What has come to be known as “Paukenmesse” or “Kettledrum Mass” is so-called because of the heavy
solo-like presence of the timpani used to great dramatic effect. The name, however, was not what Haydn originally labeled it: it was the “Missa in tempore belli” or “Mass in
Time of War.” The use of the timpani in the ‘Dona Nobis Pacem’ foreshadows Beethoven’s use in the “Missa Solemnis,” where he repeated the word ‘pacem’ multiple times as an anti-war protest aimed at his former hero
Napoleon. It is thought Haydn intended this Mass also as an antiwar protest.
Written in 1796, four years into the European war that followed the French Revolution Austria feared invasion.
Reflecting the troubled mood of his time, Haydn’s wrote what is essentially battle music in the Benedictus and Agnus Dei movements. Haydn scheduled both premieres on the two major war-like feast days of the Church.
Excerpts from Paukenmesse - Live Performance
Greater Hazleton Oratorio Society Robert L. Edwards - 1983
There are very few portraits of Haydn as a young man. Also, few appear to be in any way realistic; they all have an air of idealism. This is one
of the few that may represent Haydn as he actually appeared.
In order to provide permanent documentation of the important sociological and musical contributions of the Greater Hazleton Oratorio Society,
Singers’ Guild of Scranton and Sinfonia da Camera to the lives of residents in Northeastern Pennsylvania, some of the 1977-1986 live performance analog recordings of these community groups were rescued, restored, and
converted to a digital format. Those restorations and the performance excerpts that appear on this website are intended as historical documents not as an entertainment product. The copying or dissemination of these
excerpts is strictly prohibited.