This concert is presented by

Nikolaus Harnoncourt conducts the Beethoven Missa Solemnis
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

People sometimes call him "The Mount Everest of sacred choral music": Nikolaus Harnoncourt is live from the Concertgebouw in the vastest liturgical work by Beethoven.

In the 1960s, Nikolaus Harnoncourt initiated a true revolution in the interpretation of baroque and classical music. His goal: get as close as possible to the composer's intentions.

A specialist of Beethoven, Nikolaus Harnoncourt recently recorded the Missa Solemnis with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe – with which he also released the complete symphonies by the master of Bonn.

The Beethoven Missa solemnis is among the most essential liturgical works of the whole repertoire, next to the great scores by Bach and to the Mozart Requiem. When Beethoven starts composing the Solemn Mass, he has just turned 48. But the profound deafness he is suffering from, and the other tragedies he had to endure have turned him into an emotionally exhausted man. But in the second half of the 1810s, Beethoven seems to turn to religion, and his energy increases. His Missa Solemnis is not only the longest of his sacred works (before 1818, he had written two sacred scores: Christus am Ölberge and Mass in C), but it is also the biggest score ever composed by Beethoven.

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Broadcast date : April 19, 2012, 6:15 p.m.

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Groot Omroepkoor
Nikolaus Harnoncourt conductor


Marlis Petersen soprano
Elisabeth Kulman alto
Werner Güra tenor
Gerald Finley bass guitare

Movie director : Joost Honselaar

Location : Royal Concertgebouw (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Production : A production of Unitel, AVRO and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in cooperation with CLASSICA