Harpenden Choral Society has an established reputation for high quality performances with professional soloists and orchestras. We give four concerts a year including a carol concert and hold an open workshop or ‘Come and Sing’ event once a year. Most of our concerts are in the Harpenden area.  Since our formation in 1975 the choir has grown from strength to strength and our repertoire now includes most of the major choral works as well as some lesser-known works and contemporary pieces.  



Haydn’s Missa in Angustiis, or Nelson Mass, to give it its popular title, was composed in 1798, a time of adversity and stress as the Napoleonic Wars threatened Austria. An alternative explanation of the title may be that Haydn was simply referring to the lack of woodwind instruments available at the Court at this time!

This Mass is written for Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass soloists and SATB Chorus, accompanied by organ and orchestra. The soloists are not given separate arias; they sing with the chorus, emerging for short solo and ensemble passages. At times, such as the opening Kyrie, the music is somewhat dark and restless, but the work as a whole reflects Haydn’s optimistic outlook on life and his strong faith in God.

Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem was composed during the Second World War. Its form, and ambience have parallels with Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem written fifty-seven years earlier; but important distinctions can be found in Duruflé’s use of Gregorian chant melodies, which permeate the entire work, and in his particular harmonic style. This is a work of atmospheric beauty and serenity.