Conductor: Arvo Volmer
On December 17, 250 years will pass from the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven, an ingenious German composer and pianist. Within two and a half centuries, the emotionally powerful and enticing music of the Maestro has not lost its spell. Beethoven has obtained the glory of a romantic and revolutionary hero. He wrote some of his most famous pieces after his hearing started to decline: Triple Concerto for violin, cello and piano (1803), Kreutzer Sonata for violin and piano (1803), piano sonata colloquially known as Appassionata (1804–1806), opera “Fidelio” (1814), Missa Solemnis (1819) and the Ninth Symphony (1822–1824). Ludwig van Beethoven has written altogether nine symphonies, five piano concertos, 32 piano sonatas, two masses, oratorio “Christ on the Mount of Olives”, opera “Fidelio”, numerous chamber, piano and vocal pieces. He has created grandiose and heroic pieces and Igor Stravinsky has remarked, “His greatest achievement is that he has composed music that will be contemporary forever.”
On Beethoven’s birthday, Estonian National Opera will perform Mass in C major, Op. 86 for four soloists, chorus and orchestra. Prince Nicolaus Esterházy II commissioned the Mass in 1807, extending a tradition established by Joseph Haydn, who for decades had served as the family’s Kapellmeister. In 1795–1802, Haydn had composed one mass per year for the Esterházy family, to celebrate the name day of the Prince’s wife. The premiere of the piece was on September 13, 1807 in the castle of Eisenstadt near Vienna. The 37-year-old composer conducted its premiere. The Prince did not appreciate the Mass, considering it too „modern“. Beethoven himself was happy with it, “Of my Mass, as of myself, I do not gladly say good things, and yet I believe that I have treated the text as it has never been before”. Beethoven scholars have considered the piece radical in its departure from sonata-based structure, except in “Benedictus”. It is also simpler and humbler than the grander Viennese model of the time.