Bury Bach Choir Coronation Concert

Bury Bach Choir Coronation Concert

May 20, 2023 | 7:30 pm 9:45 pm
St Edmundsbury Cathedral

Join us on 20 May for a special performance from Bury Bach Choir to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III.


They will perform:

Mozart      Coronation Mass (no. 15 in C major K317)

Haydn       Nelson Mass (no. 11 in D minor)


Mozart completed his Coronation Mass in 1779 just in time for its premier on Easter Sunday in Salzburg cathedral, where he had newly started the job of court organist and composer. Years later, at the Imperial Court in Vienna, it became the preferred music for royal and imperial coronations and services of thanksgiving, and acquired the title of Coronation Mass. It’s amongst Mozart’s most popular settings of the mass, being full of vitality and variety, and is widely considered to be the finest of the masses that he wrote for Salzburg.


Haydn’s Nelson Mass is described by his biographer as arguably the composer’s greatest single composition. Haydn wrote it for the Esterhazy family in 1798 at a time of great trouble, when the Austrian army had been defeated by Napoleon Bonaparte. He called it ‘Mass for Troubled Times’. On the day of the first performance, the unexpected and wonderful news arrived that Napoleon had been defeated in the Battle of the Nile by British Forces led by Admiral Horatio Nelson, who was heralded as the ‘saviour of Europe’. Because of this coincidence the mass gradually acquired the name ‘Lord Nelson Mass’. The title became permanent when two years later Nelson himself visited the Esterhazy palace and met Haydn. The two men reportedly became friends.


Napoleon’s defeat changed the way that the mass was heard from then on. The menacing opening leading into the joyful and brilliant drama that followed became a depiction of danger and agitation supplanted by triumphant victory.



Alice Johnston soprano

Valerie Reid mezzo-soprano

Austin Gunn tenor

Graeme Danby bass

Prometheus Orchestra

Bury Bach Choir       

Benedict Collins Rice conductor

Tickets are priced from £17.00 and available to purchase online here.

Bury Bach Choir Coronation Concert