Lesser-Known Choral Beethoven

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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