This course will examine the evolution of Beethoven’s late works. In addition to the music itself, we will focus on the sociological, political, and philosophical interactions between Beethoven’s work and the turbulent events of his era, such as the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars. Ultimately, the course aims to foster the acquisition of a deep sense of context for the listener and to provide students with the skills and strategies needed for a deeper understanding of Beethoven’s late symphonies and quartets.
I can affirm most wholeheartedly that Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis absolutely succeeds outdoors on a balmy June evening, as proved last night by the Chicago Grant Park festival and its capable conductor, Carlos Kalmar. I’m too lazy to look it up, but was it not so long ago that outdoors summer festivals avoided pieces like the Missa? In any case, any and all times and places are right for this engrossing and highly accessible work.
The role of Beethoven's final symphony in social change
Alice Manette, The Wichita Eagle.
About the documentary "Following the Ninth: Footsteps of Beethoven's Final Symphony"
Symphony Guide: Beethoven's Eighth
Tom Service, The Guardian. Part of his 50 Greatest Symphonies series. Beethoven's "shortest and weirdest" symphony debunks idea of a necessary correlation between the composer's biography and his work.
The Late Michael Steinberg on the Missa Solemnis (Audio)
NPR provided this tribute when the redoubtable music annotator passed away.