Beethoven: Missa Solemnis

12 June 2016 (Sunday) 8:00pm
Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall


Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
The Mass in D major “Missa Solemnis”, Op. 123 
D大調《莊嚴彌撒曲》,作品 123


Li Yang, Soprano  李洋 女高音 
Samantha Chong, Alto  張吟晶 女中音 
Christopher Leung, Tenor  梁路安 男高音
Brian Montgomery, Bass  孟浩文 男低音

Jerome Hoberman, Music Director & Conductor 何博文 音樂總監兼指揮
The Hong Kong Bach Choir & Orchestra 香港巴赫合唱團及管弦樂團

Introduction 介紹

There are musical works of such conceptual scope, majesty and grandeur that they should not be performed too often, lest they become commonplace. One thinks of the B-minor Mass and the Passions of Bach, Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung, and a number of symphonies by Mahler. Another such – the Ninth Symphony of Beethoven – is given on a too-regular basis, perhaps, and has become so well-known that its sublimity is diminished through over-familiarity. Fortunately, the same has not occurred with Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, because its length and difficulty ensure that performances will be relatively rare.

Beethoven planned the Missa Solemnis as a celebratory work for the investiture in 1820 of his pupil and close friend, Archduke Rudolf of Austria, as Cardinal-Archbishop of Olomouc in Moravia, a province of the presentday Czech Republic. The work grew in scope beyond its original intent, and required far more of its composer’s time than planned; it was not completed until 1823. The entire, awesome Mass builds to a final prayer for “inner and outer peace” both spiritual and material, inner peace that Beethoven himself had been seeking ever since his hearing began to deteriorate, even as the continent of Europe continued to seek peace following the Napoleonic wars.

云云西洋古典名曲當中,有些作品概念超脫,結構宏大莊嚴,過度地被演出反會令其顯得陳腐 俗套。巴赫的B 小調彌撒曲及受難曲,華格納《尼貝龍根的指環》,馬勒的多首交響曲,以至 幾乎定期上演的貝多芬第九交響曲等,由於太過耳熟能詳,令作品失去了原有的崇高內涵。幸 而貝多芬的《莊嚴彌撒曲》無論長度還是演出難度皆是空前絕後,歷久彌新,於本港的演出機 會亦是難得一見。

貝多芬的愛徒和密友魯道夫大公爵於1820 受封為當時奧地利摩拉維亞省(現屬捷克)奧爾莫茲 教區的大主教,《莊嚴彌撒曲》正是貝多芬為其就職典禮所作。但這部彌撒曲並沒有如期趕上 大公的就職儀式,而且規模越見宏大,整整三年後才得以完成。整部彌撒曲從起首的恢弘壯闊 發展成最後一段飄逸靈動,祈求「內在和外在的平安」的禱告。這種對「內在和外在的平安」 的追求,不單是一生與耳疾對抗的貝多芬一直尋求的心靈寄託,亦是歐洲大陸剛從拿破崙戰爭 的陰霾中擺脫出來的社會寫照。


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