Muffat - Missa in labore requies
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Label: Pan Classics
Cat No: PC10301
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 10th March 2014
ArtistsSt Florianer Sangerknaben
Ars Antiqua Austria
Gunar Letzbor and his ensemble Ars Antiqua Austria are proven specialists in Austrian baroque music. During recent years, they have rediscovered, performed and recorded polychoral Festive Masses by Weichlein, Ramhaufsky and Hochreither and thus Georg Muffat's magnificent 'Missa in labore requies' is a logical choice of repertoire.
This work is the only surviving church music by Georg Muffat and is overwhelming in sonic impact and profundity, but also a richness of melodic invention. In its polychoral design, the work is in the tradition of Salzburg Festive Masses, reflecting in their extraordinary musical opulence, the almost boundless material wealth of the prince bishops who commissioned them.
For the recording, Gurk Cathedral proved to be an ideal location, allowing the spatial effects of five choirs to be impressively reproduced. The two vocal choirs can be heard to the right and left of the imaginary middle axis, as are the string and wind choirs, whilst the trumpet choir sounds forth majestically from an elevated position in the centre. In this way, one can comprehend why this monumental work represents the pinnacle of the genre, perhaps comparable only to Biber's 'Missa Salisburgensis'.
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