John Nelson conducts Beethoven's Missa Solemnis

Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Gulbenkian Choir

John Nelson proves his love for Beethoven

In the beautiful Gulbenkian hall in Lisbon, built entirely in wood, John Nelson conducts Beethoven's only Mass. A proportionately gigantic work, the Missa Solemnis, composed for the archbishop Rodolphe is work made of sufferance. At the time completely deaf, Beethoven has just lost his brother. Even though the composer confessed his desire to commit suicide, his energy will eventually overcome his desperation. It is this victory that the Missa Solemnis celebrates. Composed following the Hammerklavier, this piece explores new territories, never before used sonorities and solid and framed structures.

Bare handed, with an infectious energy and innate sense of form, John Nelson – an old "Beethovenian" - gives a poignant interpretation of this vast liturgy. Balancing between explosive choir parts, mystical contemplation and classic equilibrium, this version brings homage to one of the masterpieces of Beethoven.

The Gulbenkian Choir
Chamber Orchestra of Europe orchestra
John Nelson conductor

Tamara Wilson soprano
Elizabeth DeShong mezzo-soprano
Nikolaï Schukoff tenor
Brindley Sherratt bass

Movie director : Rhodri Huw
Musical period : Classical music
Music genres : Orchestral music, Music with choir

Duration : 01 h 20 min
Location : Fudação Calouste Gulbenkian (Lisbon, Portugal)
Recording date : 2010
Production date : 2010
Production : © Idéale Audience / Soli Deo Gloria

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