The Beethoven Missa Solemnis is a major orchestral and choral work composed by Ludwig van Beethoven from 1819 to 1823. The Missa Solemnis Alliance represents many of the very best in our community and beyond, coming together in celebration of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Beethoven. Musicians are comprised of organizations all across the Panhandle area. This includes Chamber Music Amarillo, the Amarillo Symphony, Amarillo Master Chorale, Panhandle PBS, Lubbock Chorale, West Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University, Wayland Baptist University, Amarillo College, and First Baptist Church of Amarillo. We celebrate the Panhandle Spirit as we present this incredibly challenging work, rarely done as the forces needed must give an enormous effort asked by Beethoven. The ongoing preparations began in 2018 and are being captured in a Panhandle PBS documentary about what our Panhandle community is capable of artistically. As this work has never been performed here, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Amarillo, Texas. It will amaze you and make you proud of the extraordinary talent in our community. Don’t miss this incredible work, a piece described by Beethoven as “the greatest music I have ever written.”
Why is the Missa Solemnis so special?
The artistic forces being secured total 178 musicians including 1 conductor, 4 soloists, 58 orchestra musicians and 115 choral musicians.
The choral writing displays Beethoven’s characteristic disregard for the performer and is both technically and physically exacting, with many sudden dynamic changes, fast and slow singing, all of which when combined are very difficult to sing. And the orchestral parts are no less demanding. A typical performance of the complete work runs 80 to 85 minutes. The difficulty of the piece combined with the requirements for a full orchestra, large chorus, and highly trained soloists, mean that it is usually only performed in large metroplexes.