BEETHOVEN: Missa solemnis, op. 123
Concerto Budapest Symphony Orchestre
Conductor György Vashegyi
“The greatest work I have composed.” This is how Beethoven characterized Missa solemnis, which was originally written to celebrate the elevation of his friend and patron, the Archduke Rudolf, to the Archbishopric of Olmütz. The problem was that under the hand of Beethoven the composition grew to monumental proportions and the genius, referring to obligations hindering his work and his everyday struggles, begged: “Your Highness will understand that in the given circumstances the mass will not be completed on time”. Archduke Rudolf fulfilled his role of archbishop for three years before he finally saw the score of Missa solemnis, in 1823. The world premiere of the work was thus not in Olmütz, and not even in Vienna, but in St. Petersburg, in April 1824, but it took many more years until this demanding, remarkable and – from every aspect – great creation took its rightful place on the concert repertoire, and until Beethoven’s wish written above the Kyrie movement could be realized: “From the heart, may it again go to the heart”. The exalted and ethereal playing of this masterpiece that demands so much from the performers is achieved under the direction of György Vashegyi.