Franz Schubert's Magnificat in D Major
Michael Haydn's "Heiligste Nacht"
The Shedd Choral Society will perform Schubert’s Magnificat, preceded by a short choral piece - “Heiligste Nacht” (Most Holy Night) - by Michael Haydn. Perhaps lesser known today than his famous brother Franz Joseph Haydn, Michael was a prolific and famous composer of sacred choral music, and was an enormous influence on Schubert.
Franz Schubert embodied the spirit of Romanticism with his lyrical, passionate, expressive compositions. (To realize his impact on sacred music, just think of how often his beautiful Ave Maria is performed!) His Magnificat, written when he was only nineteen, is one of many works, which only came to light many years after his death.
A church canticle beloved by many great composers, the “Magnificat” is a hymn expressing joy and thanksgiving, sung by the Virgin Mary:
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.”