Bernard of Offida, 1604–1694, was a Capuchin monk, whose saintly life and devotion to the sick and poor, caused him to be beatified by Pope Pius VI on 19 May, 1795. St. Bernard’s name day falls on the 11th of September (a Saturday in 1797), and it is generally thought that Haydn combined doing honour to the Capuchin monk with the production of a new Mass for his patron the day thereafter.
The Heiligmesse has always been one of Haydn’s most admired works. Its dignity, its strength (we draw special attention to the extraordinary “Gratias”, with its brilliant contrapuntal writing), the subdued orchestral grandeur to which the B-flat Trumpets contribute a silvery but unmartial weight – all these have made it one of Haydn’s most serious and most deeply sensitive church works: its constant popularity in Viennese churches is quite deserved.
- Urtext of the Joseph Haydn Complete Edition.
- Full score, together with Missa brevis Sti Joannis de Deo (Little Organ Mass) (Hob.XXII:7), Missa Cellensis (Mariazeller-Messe) (Hob.XXII:8), Missa in Tempore Belli (Pauken mass) (Hob.XXII:9)
- Performance material (BA4651), vocal score (BA4651-90) available for sale.