Michael Steinberg on Beethoven's 'Missa Solemnis'

Share story

Michael Steinberg
Michael Steinberg, program annotator for the Minnesota Orchestra.
Photo: Jorja Fleezanis

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.

Before you go...

MPR News is dedicated to bringing you clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives when we need it most. We rely on your help to do this. Your donation has the power to keep MPR News strong and accessible to all during this crisis and beyond.