• Chapel

Imperial Chapel

Beethoven, Mass in C

The Chapel Imperial performs Beethoven

On the last Sunday before Lent, the Chapel Imperial performs a very special service: boys from two choirs sing Ludwig van Beethoven's Mass in C. Erwin Ortner conducts

Ludwig van Beethoven wrote his first setting of the mass ordinary for Nikolaus Prince Esterhazy in 1807. Beethoven was worried - he thought he could not hope to write something as good as Joseph Haydn; from March to August, he laboured over the mass, paying close attention to the text. In his own words, he treated the text as it had not been treated before. Esterhazy did not like the result, so Beethoven dedicated the composition to Prince Kinsky, who did. It is certainly one of the most spectacular settings of the Catholic mass, and at the same time a personal, deeply felt creed by its composer.

The Vienna Boys Choir recorded the work in 2003.