Cathedral hosts night of music

A cello being played.
 on April 2, 2024

For many of us, the three composers who dominate the Classical period in music history are Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven. However, their music overshadows the fascinating music and lives of some of their less well-known contemporaries. On May 11 at 7:30 p.m., the choir of St. James Cathedral performs the much-loved Nelson Mass and Te Deum of Haydn and Mozart’s hauntingly beautiful Laudate Dominum, setting these works beside the music of their friends and colleagues William Herschel, Marianna Martines and Samuel Wesley.

The latter years of the 18th century were marked by both incessant warfare and a spirit of intellectual curiosity. Haydn’s magnificent Nelson Mass and his celebratory Te Deum were both written at the time of the Napoleonic Wars. Both works employ the military instruments of the orchestra – the trumpets and drums – with arresting results, ensuring the lasting popularity of this music. Less well-known, however, is the music of William Herschel, a German-British astronomer who discovered the planet Uranus and pioneered the use of larger telescopes, among his many achievements. He was also an accomplished organist, oboist and composer, leaving a large body of attractive music. Of the other composers featured in the program, Marianna Martines was an outstanding singer and pianist, a friend of both Haydn and Mozart. We sing her setting of Dixit Dominus.

The orchestra plays Samuel Wesley’s Sinfonia Concertante, a charming symphony which never fails to delight.

Tickets for this concert are $30 each and available through Eventbrite. Visit the cathedral’s website,, for the link to Eventbrite. Early purchase is recommended based upon recent concerts held at the cathedral.


  • Thomas Bell

    Thomas Bell is the director of music and organist at St. James Cathedral, and director of music at Trinity College, University of Toronto.

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