THE HANGOVER REPORT – Thomas Dausgaard leads the Swedish forces in a magnificent performance of Beethoven’s MISSA SOLEMNIS

Thomas Dausgaard leads a performance of Beethoven's "Missa Solemnis" at David Geffen Hall.

Thomas Dausgaard leads a performance of Beethoven’s “Missa Solemnis” at David Geffen Hall.

This past Sunday, I was lucky to attend a truly magnificent performance of Beethoven’s choral masterwork Missa Solemnis from the Swedish Chamber Orchestra and Swedish Radio Choir at David Geffen Hall. The one-afternoon-only performance, part of Lincoln Center’s excellent White Light Festival, was led by Thomas Dausgaard in a reading that I found transcendent. It’s renditions like these that inspires me to reach out towards something much larger than my bodily and intellectual/emotional needs, our disfunctional society, or even this Earth.

Beethoven’s work here is fascinating, incorporating large-scale, evocative orchestral and choral writing into the mass format (as if made for the concert hall, not the church). Indeed, the highs and lows of movements like the “Credo”, which essentially lays out the core beliefs of the Catholic Church, are matched uncannily with Beethoven’s expressive writing.

Under Mr. Dausgaard’s baton, the Swedish forces exquisitely tamed the score’s arguably romantic excesses and infused this Missa Solemnis with a focused Baroque sensibility that unlocked the piece’s soul, producing a performance of exceeding beauty and sensibility. The vocalists (Malin Christensson, Kristina Hammarström, Michael Weinius, Josef Wagner) were also very fine, admirably not sounding out of place in a psueudo-liturgical setting. And suffice to say, the chorus, under the guidance of Peter Dijkstra, rose up to the challenge, and sounded absolutely extraordinary.



Classical Music
The Swedish Chamber Orchestra and Swedish Radio Choir at David Geffen Hall
1 hour, 20 minutes (without an intermission)

Categories: Music, Other Music

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