Prince Nikolaus did not appreciate the mass, causing Beethoven to leave his house in a rage. Charles Rosen, in The Classical Style, has called the episode Beethoven's "most humiliating public failure". The mass is appreciated by critics (such as Rosen), but is probably one of the least often performed of Beethoven's larger works.
Of the work, Michael Moore writes "While [it] is often overshadowed by the immense Missa Solemnis, written some fifteen years later, it has a directness and an emotional content that the latter work sometimes lacks." The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs (2004 edition) forthrightly calls the work a "long-underrated masterpiece."