WOLFGANG Amadeus Mozart needs little introduction.

Michael Haydn, younger brother of the more famous Joseph, is not so well known.

And on Saturday, March 16 (7.30pm) at Ulverston’s St Mary of Furness R C Church, both composers works are centre stage for the next - and much awaited - Furness Bach Choir concert: Mozart’s Solemn Vespers and Michael Haydn’s St Francis Mass.

A massive fan of the music of Michael Haydn, FBC’s young and dynamic director, Marco Bellasi, hopes to build on the pioneering work of former choir conductor Alan Bolt (now celebrating his 100th birthday) making Michael Haydn’s work more appreciated.

The two composers have much in common, both musically and in their everyday lives. Michael Haydn was born in 1737 and spent virtually his whole life in Salzburg. Mozart was born in Salzburg almost 20 years later, and although he spent time touring Europe Salzburg was the home to which he always returned. Michael succeeded Mozart as organist and choirmaster at Salzburg Cathedral, and during his lifetime was considered a better musician than his now more famous brother.

Mozart’s Solemn Vespers is one of his greatest works, written in 1780 for performance in Salzburg Cathedral. The Laudate Dominum is a high point in the work - a serene, melodious aria for the soprano soloist, featuring a solo bassoon in the accompaniment, beautifully concluded by the hushed entry of the chorus.

Michael Haydn’s St Francis Mass was commissioned by the Habsburg Empress for the Saint’s Day of her husband, the Emperor and was finished in August 1803. It is a joyful work and the splendid Quoniam tu solus sanctus is regarded as one of the all-time masterpieces of sacred music.

As for soloists, most are drawn from the choir. In the spotlight during Mozart Vespers will be sopranos, Ciara Myakevich Preston, Naomi Marczak and Cathy Styles, contralto, Pippa Mayfield and bass, Ron Eadington. In the St Francis Mass soloists are soprano, Naomi Marczak, contralto, Pippa Mayfield and bass, John Brice. Tenor, Samuel Knock, a student at the Royal Northern College of Music, features in both works. Dianne Knowles will lead the orchestra.

Tickets from Sutton’s Bookshop in Ulverston or 01229-837680.