The young man pictured as Beethoven played the Father opposite me in Hansel and Gretel. He's a fine singer and a good man.
The Wonder of the Missa Solemnis by Beethoven
|Ironically, the work was not completed in time for the enthronement in 1820. Beethoven immersed himself intensely in the composition which eventually required five years of feverish writing, involving tremendous thought and musical expertise. It was first heard in St. Petersburg in 1824, the score having been sold to the Russian Prince Galitzen. |
The text was of supreme importance to Beethoven, so the final work is a study in contrasts encompassing multiple musical ideas to express it. Dr. Alt remarks that,"Beethoven uses every style of choral composition in the (mass) and adds his personal touch to it." Different parts of the mass call for strong melody or recitative, chromaticism, fugue, a quartet of soloists, solo instruments, gentle choral sounds and ones with a marching beat, all to illuminate the text.
"Challenging rhythms and complex tonal harmonies make the Missa Solemnis a mountain of a piece for us," continues Dr. Alt, referring to NMSU Combined Choirs. "All voice parts are singing at the top of their ranges for long periods. I think this fact is the most significantly unique element of (the piece.)"...The Missa has been described as the ‘Mount Everest of major choral works.’ Literally, we are at the peak of our vocal ranges and figuratively we feel like we are participating in a life challenging experience!"
The choirs will be joined by five soloists and an orchestra assembled by Stephanie Schweigart of El Paso.
Tickets are available now at Pan Am Center Ticket Office. Call 505.646.1420.