Haydn was in England, in 1795, when he received word from his new Prince, Nicolaus II Esterházy, that the Esterházy orchestra was to be reformed, and Haydn was to serve again as active Capellmeister.
Prince Nicolaus II demanded little from his Capellmeister, except the usual routine of administration; but Haydn was to compose, every year, a new Mass for the name day of the Princess Josepha Maria, which was celebrated the Sunday afterwards in the Bergkirche at Eisenstadt. It is known that a new Haydn mass was performed before a packed congregation in the Piaristenkirche in Vienna on St. Stephen’s Day (26 December) 1796.
The writer of these notes examined – when preparing this edition – the music archives of the church, and found contemporary parts on the Missa in tempore belli in the church; and it seems certain that this (and not the Heiligmesse) was the work performed on that occasion, and thus also the work which Haydn had just finished and performed in Eisenstadt.
Stimmensatz bestehend aus: