Lesser-Known Choral Beethoven

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Sunday, November 25, 2012


On this edition of The Choral Mix, Kent Tritle hops on board to help celebrate WQXR's Beethoven Awareness Month. We showcase the best of choral Beethoven: works ranging from the majestic Ninth Symphony to his less familiar early cantatas. 

We start with a seminal New York Philharmonic recording of Beethoven's best-known work, the finale to his Symphony No. 9.


Also on the program is the rarely-performed cantata Heil! Stürzet nieder, Millionen, which celebrates the accession of Emperor Leopold II. Following that, it's Tot! Tot, stöhnt es durch die öde Nacht, a funereal cantata on the death of Emperor Joseph II.

Beethoven's Missa Solemnis is almost as well known as his Ninth Symphony  However, lesser known is his "other" mass: the glorious Mass in C Major, Opus 86. Unlike the Kyrie of the Solemnis, the Kyrie of the Mass in C is quiet. It starts with solo voice and continues in a very gentle, pastoral nature. Kent Tritle explores this work a bit more and looks through a microscope at the Kyrie from the Mass in C.

Also on this episode are two classic German recordings of Beethoven's choral music, conducted by Helmut Koch and Kent Nagano with Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage, and The World sings thanks and honor



Beethoven/ Symphony No. 9/ New York Philharmonic & Zubin Mehta

Presto- Allegro Assai


Beethoven/ Beethoven: Early Cantatas/ Corydon Singers, Corydon Orchestra, Matthew Best

Cantata on the Accession of Emperor Leopold II

"Heil! Stürzet nieder, Millionen"


Funeral cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II

"Tot! Tot, stöhnt es durch die öde Nacht"


Kent's Choice/ Kent's Classroom


Beethoven/ Beethoven: Choral Music/ Berlin Radio Orchestra, Helmut Koch & Grosser Chor des Berliner Rundfunks

Meeresstille Und Gluckliche Fahrt / Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage


Beethoven/ Christus am Ölberge/ Rundfunchor Berlin and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Kent Nagano

Welten singen Dank und Ehre / The World sings thanks and honor

Comments [1]

Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama institute, Boonton, NJ

BEETHOVEN's song literature, including his 158 songs and his cantatas and the Choral Symphony all attest to the fact that he, like Mozart, knew the potentials and options for writing for the voice and for instruments. Few composers have had such knowledge and pursued it to any way like such an enormous extent. GREAT recorded performances of Beethoven's symphonies are so numerous and my own, from childhhod record collecting days, include performances by maestri Bruno Walter, Arturo Toscanini, Sir Thomas Beecham, Artur Bodansky, Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Mehta, Sir Georg Solti, Serge Koussevitsky, Clemens Krauss, Erich and Carlos Kleiber, Leo Blech, Erich Leinsdorf, Wilhelm Furtwaengler, Fritz Busch, Walter Damrosch, Christian Thielemann, and Herbert von Karajan. Beethoven's symphonies, opera, concertos, sonatas, string quartets, overtures, chamber music generally, cantatas, and song literature, is so pervasive and his world consciousness and basic humanity construct an icon unparalleled to and past his own era. At Juilliard, I studied his oeuvre and , in those days, all singers learned the concert rep of Beethoven , Schubert , Schumann, Wolf and Grieg, whether they would be opera singers or concert singers . So much of our treasured masterpieces, vocal and instrumental, are unknown quantities to most Americans. THANK YOU WQXR FOR CELEBRATING BEETHOVEN !!! Beethoven's symphonies are the ABCs of most essential single composers' oeuvre of the symphonic literature. Wagner and his contemporaries and their successors all recognized the epic achievement of Beethoven. I am a romantischer Wagnerian heldentenor and director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute at 418A Main Street, Boonton, NJ . I have sung four solo concerts in the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall. As part of my Ten Language Solo Debut concert at the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall, I sang the Gott ! welch dunkel hier ! aria of Fidelio. it can be heard from the live performance on my three websites, www.WagnerOpera.com, , www.ShakespeareOpera.com, and www.RichardWagnerMusicDramaInstitute.com. It received rave critical notices in newspapers and magazines. The Beethoven violin concerto is celebrated by its ardent interpreters Heifetz, Menuhin, Perlman, Oistrakh, Sarasate, and Paganini. Great Beethoven interpreters at the piano include Horowitz, Rubinstein, Gieseking, Schnabel, Rachmaninoff, and Paderevski. Among the greatest singers famous for their Beethoven performances in opera and concert my voice teachers Alexander Kipnis, Friedrich Schorr, Martial Singher, John Brownlee, Karin Branzell and Margarete Matzenauer. Other famous singers with extensive Beethoven "rep" were Kirsten Flagstad, Helge Roswaenge, Birgit Nilsson, Set Svanholm, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Jerome Hines, Jon Vickers, Jean and Eduard de Reszke, Regina Resnik, Leonie Rysanek, George London, Emmanuel List, Elizabeth Rethberg, Lotte Lehmann, and Helen Traubel..

Nov. 25 2012 11:51 AM

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