Commonwealth Chorale To Perform April 21, 28

Published 4:19 pm Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Commonwealth Chorale will present their first Beethoven work on April 21 and 28.

Beethoven's Mass in C major is a long underrated masterpiece. Composed in 1807, the music reflects Beethoven's frustrations due to his tragic increasing loss of hearing . Within a short period of the Mass, beautiful harmonic texture suddenly erupts into loud dissonant outbursts. The music itself is very difficult as Beethoven is already throwing off traditional compositions and forging ahead with new ideas of sound and harmony.

Prince Esterhazy, who had been Haydn's mentor, commissioned this Mass.

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At the first hearing the Prince was very disappointed which sent Beethoven into a rage.

The great composer was noted for his great changes of moods, perhaps the result of his deafness. He dedicated his third symphony to Napoleon but angrily scratched out Napoleon's name on the symphony's title page when he heard of Napoleon crowning himself Emperor.

The Mass in C includes much solo and quartet singing interspersed within the chorus sections–a new idea at the time. Why this work is not performed regularly is a puzzle as it stands out as masterpiece.

Performances are: April 21, 3 p.m. Crenshaw Methodist Church in Blackstone; April 28, 3 p.m., Farmville United Methodist Church. For further information call 434-392-7545.