Experience one of the towering choral in the Western canon: Beethoven’s sublime Missa Solemnis. Premiered in 1824 around the same time as the Ninth Symphony, the Missa Solemnis was dedicated to the Archduke Rudolph, the emperor’s half-brother, and is scored for large orchestra, full chorus, and a quartet of vocal soloists. Despite its notorious technical difficulties, the Missa’s monumental intellectual, emotional, and spiritual vision places it among Beethoven’s most rewarding and affecting compositions. The composer himself considered it his greatest work, inscribing the following words at the head of the manuscript: ("From the heart – may it return to the heart!"). While the Napoleonic Wars raged through the Europe of Beethoven’s time, the Missa Solemins stands as a transcendent plea for peace, freedom and dignity.