Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

January 2003

Disc of the Month

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Haydn Masses Vol. 2

Awards:

Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - January 2003

Label:

Philips

Catalogue No:

E4702862

Discs:

2

Release date:

18th Oct 2002

Barcode:

0028947028628

Length:

89 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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Haydn Masses Vol. 2


Haydn:

Mass, Hob. XXII:11 in D minor 'Nelsonmesse'

Mass, Hob. XXII:12 in B flat major 'Theresienmesse'

Te Deum, Hob. XXIIIc:2 'Grosses Te Deum'


Donna Brown (soprano), Sally Bruce-Payne (mezzo-soprano), Peter Butterfield (tenor), Gerald Finley (bass)

English Baroque Soloists, Monteverdi Choir, John Eliot Gardiner

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Franz Joseph Haydn: Missa in angustiis "Nelson Mass", Hob. XXII:11 in D minor

Kyrie

Gloria: Gloria in excelsis Deo

Gloria: Qui tollis

Gloria: Quoniam

Credo: Credo in unum Deum

Credo: Et incarnatus est

Credo: Et resurrexit

Sanctus

Benedictus

Agnus Dei: Agnus Dei qui tollis

Agnus Dei: Dona nobis pacem

Franz Joseph Haydn: Te Deum in C major - Hob.XXIIIc:2 - Ed. H.C.Robbins Landon

Te Deum in C major - Hob.XXIIIc:2 - Ed. H.C.Robbins Landon

Franz Joseph Haydn: Mass No.12 - 'Theresienmesse' in B flat HobXXII/12 (1799)

Kyrie

Gloria

Gratias

Quoniam

Credo

Et incarnatus

Et resurrexit

Sanctus

Benedictus

Agnus Dei

Dona nobis pacem

BBC Music Magazine

February 2008

“Another fine performance. True to form, Gardiner exults more fiercely than anyone in Gloria, with hungry rhythms and extreme dynamic contracts, and brings a unique hushed tension to the 'Crucifixus'.”

Gramophone Classical Music Guide

2010

“Dating respectively from 1798 and 1799, the Nelsonmesse and the Theresienmesse are the third and fourth of the six masses written for the nameday of the Princess Esterházy. That was a period during the Napoleonic wars when Prince Esterházy, Nikolaus II had economised by dismissing his Harmonie or windband. Even so, in 1798 for the Nelsonmesse, Haydn, seeking to reflect the mood of the times (hence the official title, Missa in angustiis – 'Mass in straitened times'), brought in three trumpets and timpani, and their impact is all the greater when set against strings and organ alone.
That heightened contrast is a point which comes out with thrilling attack in Gardiner's performance at the very opening of the Kyrie.
This vigorous Allegro, typical of Haydn but totally untypical of Mass-settings, introduces martial fanfares, which recur through the whole work. Though Haydn composed the Mass in a mere 53 days in the summer of 1798, just when Nelson was winning the Battle of Aboukir, Haydn knew nothing of that victory till later, and the Nelson association dates from two years later when the admiral visited Eisenstadt, and the Mass was given in his honour.
Gardiner's treatment of the fanfares offers only the first of dozens of examples where his crisp, incisive manner highlights the extraordi- nary originality of this work. The Theresienmesse brings similar revelations. Here, in addition to trumpets and timpani, Haydn scored for two clarinets, and though this is a less sharply dramatic, more lyrical work, a martial flavour is again introduced. There are surprises aplenty, as in the sudden silence of the orchestra in the setting of the word 'miserere' at the end of the 'Gratias agimus tibi', or the setting of 'Et incarnatus' in the Credo in the rare key (in this context) of B flat minor, and 'Et vitam venturi' set in a galloping 6/8 time or the bold, square opening of Agnus Dei in bare octaves at an unapologetic forte. Such points must have startled early listeners, and Gardiner's treatment makes one appreciate that with new ears.
In this respect he even outshines Richard Hickox, whose prize-winning Mass series for Chandos brings equally enjoyable performances of both these works, just as energetic and a degree warmer, thanks in part to the recording acoustic. Gardiner's team, on the other hand, has markedly cleaner separation of textures, with soloists and chorus more sharply defined.
Gardiner's Monteverdi Choir as ever sings with passion, brilliance and fine precision, and his soloists are all outstanding, fresh and youthfulsounding with firm clear voices.
As a splendid, very apt bonus there's a superb account of the magnificent ceremonial C major Te Deum.”

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Editor's Choice

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Bax: String Quartet No. 3 in F major, etc.

Bax:

String Quartet No. 3 in F major

Lyrical Interlude for string quintet

Adagio ma non troppo 'Cathaleen-ni-Hoolihan', from String Quartet in E major


“Bax composed the last of his three mature string quartets between May and September 1936, inscribing it to the Griller Quartet who gave the first performance on the BBC National Programme the following May. An appealing, cogently structured 37-minute work, it's cast (unusually for Bax) in four movements, the joyous first of which 'was probably influenced by the coming of spring in beautiful Kenmare' (to quote the composer's own descriptive notes in The Radio Times). An Irish flavour also permeates the bardic Poco lento, while the third movement's 'dreamy, remotely romantic' trio melody is eventually cleverly welded to the 'rather sinister and malicious' scherzo material. The vigorous finale builds up a fine head of steam and incorporates a wistful backward glance just before the close that's entirely characteristic of its creator.
The Maggini Quartet forge a well-paced and concentrated interpretation, playing with assurance, infectious rhythmic snap and heartwarming dedication. They are joined by violist Garfield Jackson for the haunting Lyrical Interlude from 1922 (a reworking of the slow movement from Bax's ambitious String Quintet of 1908), and there's another rarity in the shape of the lovely Adagio ma non troppo centrepiece from the 1903 String Quartet in E major that Bax orchestrated two years later as his first tone-poem, Cathaleen-ni-Hoolihan.
Throughout, the sound is faithful in timbre and the balance most musically judged.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2003

Naxos - 8555953

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$7.50

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Bach: Partitas

Bach: Partitas


Bach, J S:

Partita No. 1 in B flat major, BWV825

Partita No. 3 in A minor, BWV827

Partita No. 6 in E minor, BWV830


GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2003

Erato - 5455262

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A String Around Autumn

A String Around Autumn


Takemitsu:

Concerto for Viola & Orchestra 'A String Around Autumn'

Philip Dukes (viola)

I Hear the Water Dreaming

Sharon Bezaly (flute)

A Way a Lone II

Riverrun

Noriko Ogawa (piano)


“Since Takemitsu's evolution into selfconfessed Romantic, virtually every major label has released something by him, so Otaka has stiff competition, notably Patrick Gallois's fine reading of Water Dreaming.
A Way A Lone II is included on Rudolf Werthen's admirable survey of Takemitsu's film and concert music. Aided effectively by the soloists, Otaka's interpretations compare well.
In riverrun Takemitsu approached closer to the conventional soloist-ensemble than usual.
Noriko Ogawa, who has recorded the complete piano solos for BIS, judges the balance sensitively, preparing the ground for that moment when the orchestra leaves the piano to decorate the silence with a few farewell notes.
riverrun and A Way A Lone draw inspiration from Finnegans Wake. Leif Hasselgren notes a parallel between the circular structure of Joyce's novel and the way Takemitsu's music seems to 'start from nowhere and disappear into the same nowhere'. For all his acknowledged debt to French Impressionism, and to Japanese traditions, his early interest in electronic music – where sounds appear and fade like headlights on the horizon or plants flowering in a time-lapse film – has undoubtedly had a strong influence.
Sharon Bezaly's flute playing intensifies the feeling that Water Dreaming is a perfect crash-course in later Takemitsu, full of references to his influences yet identifiable at any moment as pure, individual and personal Takemitsu, and always bewitching.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2003

BIS - BISCD1300

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