Beethoven: Missa solemnis
The composition of the Missa Solemnis stretched from the spring of 1819 (possibly even from late 1818) to the middle of 1823. The work received its first performance on 18 April 1824, in St. Petersburg, under the auspices of Prince Nikolai Galitzin (who commissioned three of Beethoven’s last string quartets). Billed as “Three Grand Hymns,” three movements of the Missa Solemnis — the Kyrie, Credo, and Agnus Dei, but with texts sung in German — were performed in Vienna on 7 May 1824, on the same concert that included the premiere of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
Beethoven regarded the Missa solemnis as his crowning achievement, a personal expression on the brotherhood of mankind and the fragility of peace. It remains an Everest in the choral repertory, demanding both passion and intensity from its singers, while also containing some of Beethoven's most sublime music, not least its opening Kyrie. Internationally known for his Beethoven interpretations, former Principal Conductor Bernard Haitink joins the CSO for this profound work.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Bernard Haitink, conductor
Erin Wall, soprano
Bernarda Fink, mezzo-soprano
Chicago Symphony Orchestra Website
Detailed schedule information: