Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Beethoven Unleashed: Mass in C and Symphony No 4

The BBC Philharmonic is joined by Chief Conductor Omer Meir Wellber for Beethoven's Fourth Symphony, and the Dresden Chamber Choir joins them for his Mass in C.

From the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, presented by Tom Redmond.

Omer Meir Wellber brings the Dresden Kammerchor to Manchester for a performance of Beethoven's Mass in C. It was written at the same time Beethoven worked on his Fourth Symphony, the work in the first half of our concert, and commissioned by Prince Nikolaus Esterhazy II for his wife, Maria von Lichtenstein's name day. Haydn's last six masses had been penned for the same annual event in Eisenstadt and Beethoven was aware of following in his footsteps. Struggling to meet the deadline he even sent the Prince a sick-note from his doctor when he appeared to be behind in his work. Sadly this remarkable setting of the mass, in which Beethoven proudly said he "treated the text as seldom treated before", left the Prince cold and he described it in a letter as "unbearably ridiculous and detestable". Opening the concert is Beethoven's Fourth Symphony; an unusually searching slow introduction leads us into a work of unstoppable momentum and characteristic contrast.

Beethoven: Symphony No.4

Music Interval (CD)

Beethoven: Mass in C

Emily Dorn (soprano)
Rachel Frenkel (mezzo soprano)
Luis Gomes (tenor)
Evan Hughes (bass)
Dresden Kammerchor
BBC Philharmonic
Omer Meir Wellber (conductor)

2 hours, 28 minutes

Music Played

  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Symphony No 4 in B flat

    Orchestra: BBC Philharmonic. Conductor: Omer Meir Wellber.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Sonata No 22 in F Op54

    Performer: Paul Lewis.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Mass in C

    Singer: Emily Dorn. Singer: Rachel Frenkel. Singer: Luis Gomes. Singer: Evan Hughes. Choir: Dresden Kammerchor. Orchestra: BBC Philharmonic. Conductor: Omer Meir Wellber.
  • Gemma McGregor

    Our Lady of Sorrows and Danger for clarinet quartet

    Ensemble: Eris Ensemble.
    • Watercolour Music.
  • Louise Farrenc

    Trio for flute, cello and piano, Op 45

    Performer: Emily Beynon. Performer: Daniel Esser. Performer: Sepp Grotenhuis.
  • Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre

    Jephté (Cantates à deux voix II)

    Performer: Georges Guillard. Performer: Claire Giardelli. Singer: Isabelle Poulenard. Singer: Sophie Boulin.
    • Jacquet de la Guerre: Cantates bibliques - Pieces instrumentales et vocales.
    • Arion.
    • 1.


  • Wed 11 Mar 2020 19:30

The women erased from musical history

The women erased from musical history

Discover the music of five forgotten women composers, performed in a special IWD concert.

Three Great British Brass Band Pieces

Three Great British Brass Band Pieces

Music by Malcolm Arnold, Edward Elgar and Herbert Howells.