The Minnesota Orchestra concludes its current season this weekend with performances of the Beethoven "Missa Solemnis."
The work was composed for the installation service of the Archduke Rudolph, one of the youngest sons of the Austrian emperor, as Archbishop of Olmutz.
Archbishop Rudolph was a close friend, patron and a sometime student of the older Beethoven.
Although the work was not completed in time for the archbishop's installation, portions of the Missa were heard in Vienna in May 1824, three years before the composer's death.
Michael Steinberg, long-time program annotator for the Minnesota Orchestra, shared some thoughts about this monumental work.