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Herbert Blomstedt's 2012 performance of Ludwig van Beethoven's "Miss Solemnis in D major" bursts with energy and excitement, and even though it may seem somewhat removed from more traditional, reverent versions, it still befits the religious sentiments of the composer. As one can deduce from contemporaneous concert performances of the Kyrie, Credo, and Agnus Dei, Beethoven had no problem with a secular treatment of his great mass, and he would have welcomed the vitality and passion that Blomstedt, the MDR Radio Choir, and the Gewandhaus Orchestra bring to the score, without any contrived sense of piety or dogmatic stodginess. Beethoven's concepts of God and religion were close to 18th century Deist ideas, so it's likely he conceived the "Missa Solemnis" in much the same manner as he did his "Symphony No. 9," as a humanist document that addressed the hopes and ideals of humanity, instead of the liturgical needs of the Catholic Church. The liner notes go into great detail about Beethoven's views, so this recording may be understood in that context, but listeners may decide for themselves whether or not Blomstedt gets the theology right. In musical terms, he certainly grasps the power and vitality of the "Missa Solemnis" and delivers a compelling and thoroughly convincing reading of the work.