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During the 1790s it had become the custom at Eisenstadt, the seat of the noble Esterházy family, to mark the name-day of Princess Esterházy with a newly composed Mass (a duty that Haydn had undertaken). Consequently, in 1807, such a Mass was commissioned from Beethoven.

Following some delay, the new Mass was duly performed at Eisenstadt, but was coolly received by the Prince. The Mass in C major, a celebratory work of large-scale brilliance, was eventually dedicated to Prince Ferdinand Kinsky.

This is the final release in our series of Beethoven works featuring voice, chorus and orchestra conducted by Leif Segerstam.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770–1827)
Mass in C major
Vestas Feuer
Meeresstille und glückliche Fahrt

Kaisa Ranta, Soprano • Niina Keitel, Mezzo-soprano
Topi Lehtipuu, Tenor • Tuomas Katajala, Tenor
Nicholas Söderlund, Bass • Chorus Cathedralis Aboensis
Turku Philharmonic Orchestra • Leif Segerstam

The custom of marking the name-day of Princess Esterházy with a newly composed Mass began in the 1790s and for many years was carried out by Joseph Haydn. In 1807 Beethoven was commissioned and responded with his Mass in C major. Coolly received at court, it is a celebratory work of large-scale brilliance. The cantata Meeresstille und glückliche Fahrt is set to Goethe’s poems and contrasts calm with exuberance. In 1803 Beethoven set two numbers from Vestas Feuer, written by Emanuel Schikaneder, the librettist of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte.

Listen to an extract from Gloria:
Cum sancto spiritu
About the Artists
Leif Segerstam is currently chief conductor of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra. He has conducted many of the world’s most prestigious orchestras and was one of the most important ambassadors for Sibelius’ 2015 anniversary year. His many recordings have been critically acclaimed and feature works by contemporary composers as well as the complete symphonies of Mahler, Sibelius and Nielsen.
Chorus Cathedralis Aboensis (CCA) has specialised in large-scale choral works since the choir’s inception in 1982. Virtually the entire canon of works for choir and orchestra are in the CCA’s repertoire. The CCA has also expanded its activities to include opera, performing in the world premiere of Müller-Berghaus’ Die Kalewainen in Pochjola in 2017, and in Wagner’s Parsifal for the Turku Music Festival in 2018.
The Turku Musical Society, which later formed the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, was founded in 1790. As the oldest orchestra in Finland, the ensemble continues to develop and flourish under the baton of renowned conductors. Several of the orchestra’s recordings have been awarded platinum discs and other prizes. In 2019 the orchestra won the International Classical Music Award for Best Collection with their recording of Jean Sibelius’ Incidental Music (Naxos 8.506032).
More recordings of Beethoven's works by Leif Segerstam
Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II
Cantata on the Accession of Leopold II

Soloists • Chorus Cathedralis Aboensis • Key Ensemble
Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
‘…Leif Segerstam and the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra always make a great combination. This recording is no exception ... This recording shows a somewhat unusual side of Beethoven—and provides an understanding of just how deep his talent ran.’
8.500250 [90 DISCS]
Complete Edition

Various Artists
‘Hats off to this set from Naxos label!’
Record Geijutsu
‘Considering the quality of the performances throughout, the extent of the unique repertoire and the reality of the recorded sound, the Naxos box of Beethoven has it all.’
The Whole Note
‘This set is formidable value …
This is the set to have.’
The Mail on Sunday
‘Are you looking for a scholarly and expansive view of completeness, chockablock with fragments and sketches? Then Naxos is your clear choice.’
MusicWeb International
Christus am Ölberge
Elegischer Gesang

Haapamäki • Myllys • Spångberg
Chorus Cathedralis Aboensis
Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
‘Conductor Leif Segerstam secures first-rate performances from both the chorus and orchestra. The recording is excellent, with a warm and resonant acoustic paired with a superb balance of soloists, chorus, and orchestra—no mean feat.’
The Creatures of Prometheus

Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
‘Conductor Leif Segerstam captures the essence of this score effectively, conveying its colourful character, its wit and subtleties.’
MusicWeb International
Die Ruinen von Athen
(‘The Ruins of Athens’)

Chorus Cathedralis Aboensis
Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
‘The Ruins of Athens … is substantial enough to form a kind of one-act Singspiel and is full of attractive arias, duets and choruses and includes the famous Turkish March.’
Records International
Works for Voice and Orchestra
Ah! perfido • Ne’ giorni tuoi felici

Haavisto • Karlström • Greenlaw
Tuku Philharmonic Orchestra • Segerstam
‘All three singers make a strong presentation of these pieces. Segerstam leads winsome performances. Much of this is top drawer stuff; some of it is whimsical, and all of it is worth hearing. It is hard to find recordings of most of these pieces elsewhere, so here is a wonderful opportunity to hear a less familiar aspect of Beethoven performed at a high level. The recorded sound is first rate.’
American Record Guide
Egmont (Incidental Music)
Tarpeja • Leonore Prohaska (Marches)

Salminen • Ranta
Turku Philharmonic Orchestra • Segerstam
‘Segerstam offers some substantial makeweights from works without opus numbers, including Beyer’s charming reconstruction of the Six Minuets.’
MusicWeb International
König Stephan
Leonore Prohaska (excerpts)
Opferlied • Germania

Soloists • Key Ensemble
Chorus Cathedralis Aboensis
Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
‘A most unusual jewel.’
David's Review Corner

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