The composition on this Solemn Mass had begun in 1819 but was completed only in 1823. Originally it was supposed to have been performed in March, 1820 on the occasion of Archduke Rudolf's consecration as Cardinal Archbishop of Olmütz. However, only on March 23, 1823 did Beethoven present the Mass to his patron, the Archduke. To him the work is dedicated despite the belated completion. On May 7, 1824 the Kyrie, Credo and Agnus Dei were performed in Vienna. That date also signifies the first performance of the Ninth Symphony.
MANUSCRIPT AUTOGRAPH OF THE FIRST PAGE OF THE KYRIE OF THE MISSA SOLEMNIS, OPUS 123 At the head of the autograph Beethoven has written, in his own hand, "coming from the heart may it return to the heart." ( Former State Library, Berlin)