Missa solemnis is Latin for solemn mass, and is a genre of musical settings of the ordinary mass, which are festively scored and render the Latin text extensively, opposed to the more modest Missa brevis. In French, the genre is "Messe solennelle". The terms came into use in the classical period.
When "Missa solemnis" is used as a name, without referring to a composer, Beethoven's work is generally implied. Some of the greatest compositions in the genre have unique common names other than "Missa solemnis"—namely,Bach's Mass in B minor and Mozart's Great Mass in C minor. Some works are solemn settings in proportion and scoring, but are not called a "Missa solemnis", for example several late settings of both Haydn and Schubert, and three settings by Anton Bruckner.
Masses named "Missa solemnis" by well-known composers include:
- Beethoven: Missa solemnis in D major (1823)
- Berlioz: Messe solennelle (1824)
- Bruckner: Missa solemnis in B flat minor (1854)
- Cherubini: Messa solenne "Per il Principe Esterházy" (1811)
- Liszt: Missa solennis zur Einweihung der Basilika in Gran (Gran Mass) (first version 1855, second version 1857–58)
- Mozart: Missa solemnis in C minor "Waisenhaus", No. 4, K. 139
- Mozart: Missa solemnis in C major, K. 337
- Rossini: Petite messe solennelle (1863)
- Weber: Missa solemnis No. 2 (1818–1819) "Messe du Freischutz"
Other composers who wrote works titled "Missa solemnis" have included France Ačko (1941), Hendrik Andriessen (1946), Marco Betta, František Brixi, Antonio Buonomo (1983), Alfredo Casella (1944), Paul Creston, Georg Druschetzky(1804), Bohumil Fidler (1901), Joseph-Hector Fiocco, Konstanty Gorski, Michael Haydn (1772), Václav Emanuel Horák, Sigurd Islandsmoen (1954), Friedrich Kiel, Karel Blažej Kopřiva, Jean Langlais, Josef Lammerz (1990), Colin Mawby, Boleslaw Ocias, Antonio Sacchini, Johann Nepomuk Schelble, Wolfgang Seifen, Johann Baptist Wanhal (1778), Louis Vierne, and Bedřich Antonín Wiedermann (1848).
Masses which are solemn but not named "Missa solemnis" include:
- Bach: Mass in B minor (1733/1749)
- Bruckner: Mass in D minor (1864/1876/1881)
- Bruckner: Mass in E minor (1866/1869/1876/1882)
- Bruckner: Mass in F minor (1868/1872/1876/1877/1881/1883/1893)
- Haydn: Missa in tempore belli (Mass in the Time of War) in C major, (1796)
- Mozart: Great Mass in C minor (1782/1783)
- Schubert: Mass No. 1, Mass No. 4, Mass No. 5, Mass No. 6