Beethoven: Missa Solemnis
The Missa Solemnis is a document of extraordinary richness from the last decades of Beethoven's creative life. In this accessible guide, William Drabkin considers the work as an expression of the most celebrated text of the Roman Catholic faith and as an example from a tradition of Mass settings in eighteenth and early nineteenth-century Austria. The opening chapters present various critical perspectives on the Missa Solemnis and chart the history of its composition, first performances, and publication. But, above all, the work itself is considered in detail, including the overall design, connections between the movements, the orchestration, word painting, and programmatic elements.
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Composition performance and publication history
Preliminaries to the analysis
Adoramus Adorno Agnus Agnus Dei Allegro alto Austrian mass autograph score bass bassoon Bb major Beet Beethoven beginning Benedictus choral chorus Christe clarinet Classical closing fugue coda composer composition concerto contrast Credo Crucifixus D major Domine Deus Dona nobis pacem earlier eleison entries example exposition final fugal fugato fugue subject G major germinal motive Gloria and Credo Glorificamus Gratias harmony Haydn home key homo factus horns hoven's idea incarnatus instruments interrupted cadence Kirkendale Kyrie Laudamus liturgically manuscript melodic Michael Haydn minor bar miserere nobis Missa solemnis motif movement oboe oratorio orchestral Osanna outline passage Patris phrase plagal cadence Pleni Praeludium quartet Quoniam recapitulation rhythmic Riezler ritornello sacred music Sanctus second Kyrie second Osanna sketches solo violin solo voices soloists sonata form soprano statements staves structure subdominant suggests symphony thematic Theresienmesse timpani tollis peccata tonality tonic tradition trombones trumpets and timpani violin woodwind words