Did you know that Beethoven was the first composer to write a song cycle (although Beethoven called it a ring of songs) and that Mass in C is one of his most popular works?
Join Stan Schmidt, host of Going Beyond Words, to hear both works. Dr. William George August McCullough, in his doctoral dissertation titled “Models for Beethoven’s An die ferne Geliebte, Op. 98” has this to say: “If one would open the beginning of any chapter in a German song literature textbook on the origins of the song cycle as a genre, it would read something like this: In the beginning was An die ferne Geliebte” (To the distant beloved). The text was penned by Alois Jeitteles, an Austrian doctor, journalist, and writer. Summarizing, the subject is sitting on a hillside looking at the distant point where he and his love first met. The songs work their way through his grief and a description of the ways he seeks refuge in the landscape and birds around him. The cycle ends with his desire to send his beloved a gift of these songs and imagine her singing them in a distant place, and in this way create a joining of their hearts. You will hear famous lyric baritone Hermann Prey with Leonard Hokanson, the accompanist.
In 1807 Beethoven’s former student Prince Nikolaus Esterházy asked the composer to write a mass. Beethoven completed the work in July and August of that year, with the first performance taking place in Esterházy’s palace in September. Beethoven acknowledged that the Mass in C struck out in new directions. Performing this choral classic are four soloists, assisted by the Kammerchor Stuttgart and Hofkapelle of Stuttgart with Frieder Bernius on the podium.
For a look at the CDs used and a complete list of music played, go to the blog at the WWW.GOINGBEYONDWORDS.COM website and click on show 2533.