Philly Orchestra ends Beethoven cycle with powerful Missa Solemnis
We’ve never really finished with Beethoven. Discovering and understanding his music is an endless quest. Most symphony orchestras would not consider a season complete without performing at least one of his nine symphonies. But the Philadelphia Orchestra can now say it’s over with the Beethoven 2.0 project.
Designed as a tribute to the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth, it was supposed to take place in March 2020 but you know what happened instead, the pandemic and all. The crossing of the complete symphonies by maestro Yannick Nezet-Seguin and the beginning of some accompanying pieces were finally completed during this season at the Kimmel Center as well as at Carnegie Hall. The finale of it all was the rarely performed Missa Solemnis, Op. 123, a huge undertaking for choir, four vocal soloists and orchestra that lasts around 90 minutes.