Classical Music News for January/February 2017:



The Music Guild will present the Aspen String Trio in three February recitals at University Synagogue, Brentwood; Daniel Recital Hall, Cal State Long Beach; and Adat Ari El Temple, N. Hollywood. The dates are February 13, 14, 15, respectively.

Aspen String Trio will perform works by Beethoven, Mozart and Brahms. Featured is pianist Micah Yui.

Complimentary coffee, cookies, and cheese Mondays and Wednesdays, 7.30 to 8 pm, and at intermission.

For tickets and information, call 310-558-3500 or visit


The Los Angeles Master Chorale will present its first performances of Beethoven’s powerful MISSA SOLEMNIS in 13 years on its own concert series on Saturday, January 21 at 2 PM and Sunday, January 22 at 7 PM at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Heralded as a pillar of the choral and orchestral repertoire, the work is considered a specialty of the Master Chorale that last performed the work with Artistic Director Grant Gershon in Disney Hall in 2004.

Although Beethoven is believed to have called Missa solemnis (“solemn Mass”) his greatest work, the piece is not frequently performed owing to the large number of resources it requires, including a full choir, large orchestra, and four soloists. It is also exceptionally technically challenging.

“The Missa solemnis is like an epic journey up the river of Beethoven’s tormented psyche as he struggles to find faith at the end of his life,” says Gershon. “There is no chorus on the planet that sings this transcendently challenging music with more visceral power and breathtaking beauty than the Los Angeles Master Chorale. If you love Beethoven, you cannot miss this!”

Composed between 1819 and 1823, the five-movement Missa solemnis was a pivotal work at a time when Beethoven was struggling with writer’s block and deafness, and inspired a prolific flurry of new music – including his 9th Symphony – before he died just a few years later in 1827. Missa solemnis in D major, op. 123 and his iconic Symphony No. 9 in D minor were premiered in the same year, 1824. These two works not only created a new musical language but were to arguably set the bar for every major choral and orchestral work to come.

Although taking the liturgical form of a mass, Gershon says one of the most powerful aspects of Missa solemnis is its innate humanity: “Beethoven, who had a deep distrust of the church and of authority figures in general, asks us to bypass any intermediaries and to listen to the words and music directly in the deepest emotional and spiritual level.”

Joining Gershon and the 115-member Master Chorale for the January performances will be soloists Raquel González (soprano), Allyson McHardy (mezzo soprano), Arnold Livingston Geis (tenor), and Rod Gilfry (bass).

Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave. For tickets and information, call 213-972-7282 or visit

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