Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis
Sunday, February 11th, 2018 – 2:00pm
UVic Centre Farquhar Auditorium
Ingrid Attrot, Soprano
Sarah Fryer, Mezzo-Soprano
Thomas Glenn, Tenor
Gary Relyea, Bass-Baritone
This performance, under the baton of Brian Wismath, will be sung in Latin and will feature over 120 singers, soloists, and accompanied by orchestra with members of the Victoria Symphony. Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis is very rarely performed in Victoria, this is an opportunity you do not want to miss!
Victoria’s tie to Ludwig van Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis is thanks to Prince Nikita Sergeyevich Galitzine (1912–2003), a Russian émigré who lived in Victoria with his beloved wife, Eve. Together, they helped establish Victoria’s St. Sophia Russian Orthodox Church, and donated the Fairfield building which is now its home. Long before the 1917 revolution put an end to the Russian aristocracy, one of Nikita’s ancestors—Prince Nikolai Borisovich Galitzine—was a benefactor of Beethoven, and paid in advance for three string quartets. This money allowed Beethoven to complete his Missa Solemnis, which premiered at St. Petersburg under the patronage of Galitzine and the Tsar.
Beethoven’s Catholic “solemn mass” includes five typical mass movements: Kyrie Eleison, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei; it ends with a prayer for peace. Beethoven left out the communion and Lord’s Prayer because he wrote Missa Solemnis for a particularly triumphant event: the elevation of his piano student, the Hapsburg nobleman Rudolph Rainier (1788–1831), Archduke of Austria, to the religious position of Archbishop of Olomouc (Olmütz). Eventually, Beethoven dedicated 14 compositions to Ranier, his friend, pupil, and patron.
After the premiere in 1824, Prince Galitzine wrote to the composer, “I have never heard anything so sublime. This whole work is a treasure of beauties; it can be said that your genius has anticipated the centuries.” Today, almost two centuries later, the VCS presents Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis in a city that is linked across time with the masterpiece.
Location & Parking:
Please see UVic’s website for more information.