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.
Vladimir Jurowski, Jonathan Kent – Gerald Finley (Don Giovanni), Luca Pisaroni (Leporello), Kate Royal (Donna Elvira) – Glyndebourne Festival
Bernard Haitink, Katharina Thalbach – Krešimir Stražanac (Don Fernando) Lucio Gallo (Don Pizarro) – Opernhaus Zürich
Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic, Netherlands Radio Choir