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Beethoven: Missa solemnis - BBC Proms

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Wed 7 Sep, 7.30pm

Royal Albert Hall, BBC Proms, London, UK

Monteverdi Choir

Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique

John Eliot Gardiner conductor

Lucy Crowe soprano
Ann Hallenberg mezzo soprano
Giovanni Sala tenor
William Thomas bass

‘From the heart - may it go again - to the heart!’

Beethoven’s words scrawled at the top of the manuscript score of his Missa Solemnis express the depth of emotion involved in its composition. The piece began as a commission for a mass from Beethoven’s patron and former pupil, Archduke Rudolph, but emerged eventually - much later than planned - as a monumental and passionately personal work which wrestles with the conventions of the liturgical text and the composer’s attitude to religion.

The Monteverdi Choir and ORR will shine in this demanding score which they have tackled many times since their ground-breaking 1989 recording, encompassing the lyricism of the Kyrie, the energetic Gloria, the virtuosic fugue of the Credo and ethereally beautiful Benedictus. The final Agnus Dei, a desperate plea for peace in the midst of the horrors of war, sounds as timely now as it did in Beethoven’s day.

The outstanding soloists Lucy Crowe and Ann Hallenberg, frequent collaborators of the ensembles, are joined by two of the most exciting young voices of the moment, Giovanni Sala and William Thomas.

You can find our Prom on the official BBC Proms website by clicking here.