Beethoven - Missa solemnis | Sony 88985313592

Beethoven - Missa solemnis

Label: Sony

Cat No: 88985313592

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 3rd June 2016

Contents

Artists

Laura Aikin (soprano)
Elisabeth Kulman (alto)
Johannes Chum (tenor)
Ruben Drole (bass)
Arnold Schoenberg Chor
Concentus Musicus Wien

Conductor

Nikolaus Harnoncourt

Works

Beethoven, Ludwig van

Missa solemnis in D major, op.123

Artists

Laura Aikin (soprano)
Elisabeth Kulman (alto)
Johannes Chum (tenor)
Ruben Drole (bass)
Arnold Schoenberg Chor
Concentus Musicus Wien

Conductor

Nikolaus Harnoncourt

About

When Nikolaus Harnoncourt retired from the stage in December 2015, it was his express wish to release the broadcast recording of his last project, Beethovenís monumental Missa solemnis as his personal legacy.

The Missa solemnis concerts at the Styriarte Festival Graz and the Salzburg Festival in summer 2015 were his last public performances. This recording of Beethoven's late masterpiece was made from material captured at the Graz concerts and rehearsals.

As a result of his life-long research on Beethoven, Harnoncourt conducted the work for the first time with the Concentus Musicus Wien on period instruments. The Concentus is joined by the Vienna-based Arnold Schoenberg Choir and a handpicked solo quartet.

Reviews

This is billed as Nikolaus Harnoncourtís final recording. Taken from live concerts in July last year, eight months before his death, it finds the Austrian maestro on characteristically trenchant form. There was always a raw honesty to his Beethoven and that is crytallised in the Missa Solemnis as a clash between religious awe and human defiance, Beethoven with his fists raised up the heavens.
Financial Times 19 June 2016
This is a remarkable account of Beethovenís Missa solemnis and, in one important respect, an unusual one. For though it is in no sense lacking in drama, it is in essence a deeply devotional reading. And aptly so. ĎMit Andachtí Ė Ďwith devotioní Ė Beethoven writes time and again during the course of the work. ... The soloists were clearly hand-picked for the enterprise, not least the tenor Johannes Chum, whose singing can best be described as seraphic. The recording, by engineers from Austrian Radio, is mellow-toned yet crystal-clear, so beautifully adjusted are the balances between solo and choral voices and the lovely sounds of Concentus Musicusís old instruments. I read that Harnoncourt wished this recording to be, in some sense, his personal legacy. Itís not difficult to see why.  Richard Osborne
Gramophone August 2016
This isn't Nikolaus Harnoncourt's first recording of Beethoven's late "Solemn Mass" ... but it's his first on period instruments, and his last official recording. It's not perfect - the violin solo in the Benedictus sounds scrawny - but no performance of this daunting masterpiece can be. The soloists, Laura Aikin, Bernarda Fink, Johannes Chum and Ruben Drole, blend wonderfully.  Hugh Canning
The Sunday Times 26 June 2016
... unsurprisingly for Harnoncourt, there is a sense of searching throughout the performance, perhaps partly because he had never before recorded the work with his own Concentus Musicus Wien, and their period instruments, gut strings and lower pitch threw up new sonorities and new puzzles for his questing brain to solve. The solo quartet, led by the poised soprano Laura Aikin, is light-voiced, and with supple singing from the Arnold Schoenberg Chor, itís a gentle performance overall. But Harnoncourtís masterly control of the larger structure means that within those parameters, the moments of jubilation make all their impact.  Erica Jeal
The Guardian 22 July 2016
As sculpted by Harnoncourt, ... the overall shape of the piece is grand and reflective, the conductor unafraid to linger where once he might have leapt on ahead, his vision loftier and broader. Thatís appropriate to the mystery and wonder of Beethovenís Mass ó and its doubt.  Neil Fisher
The Times 17 June 2016

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