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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world.

Missa Solemnis Headlines 38th Victoria Bach Festival

The week of June 3-8 marks the 38th call to order of the Victoria Bach Festival. Hundreds of musicians will eventually make their ways to this South Texas city as participants in numerous chamber concerts, plus the grand finale on Saturday evening, June 8.

That final concert brings the entire ensemble of orchestra, chorus and soloists to the stage of the Victoria Fine Arts Center, 1002 Sam Houston Drive. Craig Hella Johnson's downbeat is at 7:30 PM.

The final concert features one work: Beethoven's "Missa Solemnis," a work described by the composer as his most important. It is music of that complex, final five year span known as Beethoven's Late Period.

In this interview, James Baker talks to Craig Johnson about the important place "Missa Solemnis" holds in the output of Beethoven. Craig also describes the logistical challenge of assembling and housing so many musicians in a city where hotel space is in short supply due to the influx of workers in the Eagle Ford Shale boom.

James first introduced himself to KPAC listeners at midnight on April 8, 1993, presenting Dvorak's 7th Symphony played by the Cleveland Orchestra. Soon after, he became the regular overnight announcer on KPAC.