Beethoven: Missa Solemnis
Friday, March 6 • 7:30 pm
Saturday, March 7 • 7:30 pm
Visit the Charlotte Symphony site to learn more and purchase tickets.
Ludwig van Beethoven's Missa Solemnis (Solemn Mass) stands as one of the composer's supreme achievements. Along with Bach's Mass in B minor, it is not only one of the most illuminating settings of the traditional Latin Mass, it is one of the most significant choral works ever written. Beethoven composed Missa Solemnis from 1819 to 1823, around the same time as the Ninth Symphony. In fact, they made their Vienna debut together on May 7, 1824, at least partially. Three movements of the Missa Solemnis were included in the concert. (The work had been performed a month previously in St. Petersburg.)
Don’t miss this opportunity to experience for yourself what happens when Ludwig van Beethoven—deaf, diseased, in debt, and nearing death—reaches out one final time to exceed his grasp, wrestles with the angels, and dares to attempt to touch the face of God.
Beethoven was both a believer in the ideals of the Age of Enlightenment into which he was born and a product of revolutionary times in which lived. When he composed Missa Solemnis, Beethoven—most likely already deaf and diseased—was beset by creditors and facing the end of his life. But if he was at the nadir of his personal life, he was reaching the apex of his creative prowess. Indifferent to the difficulties his music caused for those who performed it, Beethoven created one of the most challenging—but also one of the most brilliant—works in the choral repertoire. The music itself takes on the nature of the struggle Beethoven had with reconciling the notion of a loving God and a war-filled world.
If you open your heart and your mind toMissa Solemnis, you will be thrilled, challenged, and moved by this extraordinary and complex work. Beethoven’s most personal composition embodies his own final struggle with the meaning of life, the existence of God, the afterlife, and the ability of humankind to embrace its better angels. In doing so, he unleashes the full range of his formidable compositional abilities. He fuses the best ideas of Palestrina, Bach, Mozart, and ultimately his singular musical genius into a choral masterpiece.
Missa Solemnis, Solemn Mass. Mass in D. Call it what you will, but whatever you do, don’t miss this opportunity to experience for yourself what happens when Ludwig van Beethoven—deaf, diseased, in debt, and nearing death—reaches out one final time to exceed his grasp, wrestles with the angels, and dares to attempt to touch the face of God.