Torn pages and sewn-in replacements: the difficult work process of Beethoven's "solemn mass"

Missa Solemnis op. 123 by Ludwig van Beethoven

Vienna (Austria) — 1823

Missa Solemnis op. 123 by Ludwig van Beethoven

Missa Solemnis op. 123 by Ludwig van Beethoven

Vienna (Austria) — 1823

  1. Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827) described his grandly conceived *Missa solemnis* as “my greatest work”

  2. It was first performed in St. Petersburg on April 7th, 1824 at the behest of Prince Nikolai Borisovich Galitzine (1794–1866)

  3. The original score reflects how intensively Beethoven worked and what a difficult work process it was

Missa Solemnis op. 123 by Ludwig van Beethoven

Alternative Titles:
  • Missa Solemnis op. 123 von Ludwig van Beethoven
Missa Solemnis op. 123 by Ludwig van Beethoven  – Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz (Berlin, Germany)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

Among the various highlights in the historic career of Ludwig van Beethoven, the musical genius considered this composition to be his finest. It was a highly personal work that represented a great labor, as evidenced by the state of the original manuscript, which was heavily reworked and edited over the four years that it took to compose. Nearly 200 years later, Beethoven’s Missa solemnis is still a deeply moving piece of music.

Missa Solemnis op.123 by Ludwig van Beethoven

“One of the most grandiose artistic working processes ever documented in the history of music”
Hans-Joachim Hinrichsen
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827) described his grandly conceived Missa solemnis as “my greatest work” and sold handwritten copies to some subscribers even before it had appeared in print. He struggled with the composition for years, specifically between 1819 and 1823, searching for a highly personal way to deal with the words and musical traditions of the Mass Ordinary. In the end, Beethoven produced a work that leaves no listeners cold – some are puzzled but a great many are deeply moved. It was first performed on April 7th, 1824 in St. Petersburg at a performance patronized by Prince Nikolai Borisovich Galitzine (1794–1866). The original score reflects how intensively he worked and what a difficult work process it was. Aside from the many corrections there are several torn-out pages. In some places, Beethoven could only proceed by stitching replacement pages into the manuscript. The document thus serves as a witness to the composition of this solemn mass.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Missa Solemnis op. 123 von Ludwig van Beethoven
Date
1823
Genre
Artist / School

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Missa Solemnis op. 123 by Ludwig van Beethoven “

Missa Solemnis op. 123
Missa Solemnis op. 123 by Ludwig van Beethoven  – Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz (Berlin, Germany)
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Missa Solemnis op. 123

1 volume: This facsimile is not complete.
Publisher
Bärenreiter-Verlag – Kassel, 2016
Commentary
1 volume by Martina Rebmann, Hans-Joachim Hinrichsen
More Information
Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: € (under 1,000€)
Edition available
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