Haydn composed Missa in Angustii (Mass for times of distress) for the name day of Princess Marie Esterhazy in 1798
in the midst of the Napoleonic Wars. As ominous as the name sounds, the music transforms from a dark, somber Kyrie to a jubilant Dona nobis pacem
celebration for peace following war.
After the British naval victory at Trafalgar in 1805, the Mass became known as the Nelson Mass though never named so by Haydn. However, after Lord Nelson's victory at Aboukir Bay in 1798 (the battle of the Nile), he returned to England via the Esterhazy palace at Eisenstadt where he had the opportunity to hear the Mass performed soon after its completion.