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Haydn: Complete Masses / Burdick, Glover, Trinity Choir


Release Date: 09/29/2009 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8508009   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Stephen SandsLuthien BrackettAnn HoytRichard Lippold,   ... 
Conductor:  Owen BurdickJane Glover
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Trinity Church ChoirRebel Baroque Orchestra
Number of Discs: 8 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The Cäcilienmesse (Missa Cellensis in honorem BVM) appeared initially on Hänssler, at which time I welcomed it wholeheartedly. I'm very pleased to report that the remaining Masses sustain the high standard of that initial release. Granted, the REBEL Baroque Orchestra has the usual "authentic sound", with minimal vibrato--which is stylistically questionable, especially in liturgical music of this period. But the group plays very well across the board, and more to the point, the performances are all "of a piece". In other words, balances between voices and instruments are generally excellent, and the acoustics of Trinity Church (Wall St, New York) flatter both the singers and the players. These relatively small Read more forces make a full, satisfying sound.

There are also almost no weak links here vocally. Among the soloists, soprano Ann Hoyt does a magnificent job in the opening Kyrie of the Lord Nelson Mass, though in the same work bass Andrew Nolen is only average (but blends well with his colleagues). Hoyt also has the major role in the Stabat Mater, the presence of which in this set constitutes a considerable bonus. It is Haydn's largest liturgical work that is not a mass setting, and it's very movingly played and sung (save for the somewhat unpleasant muted violins in the second movement).

Jane Glover conducts the Theresienmesse, Creation Mass, and Harmoniemesse, and J. Owen Burdick takes the rest, both with consistently fine results. The Trinity Choir deserves special mention: Burdick has trained them superbly, and they sing with unfailing vigor and sensitivity. In sum, if you're looking for a complete set of Haydn masses on period instruments, then this very reasonably priced set deserves serious consideration. On the whole it's preferable to either Hickox (Chandos) or Gardiner (last six masses only).

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com

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Some of Haydn’s very greatest and most life-affirming music in performances that match those qualities to a quite extraordinary degree.

The many CDs and sets issued in this anniversary year have provided an opportunity to rethink our reactions to Haydn’s output and to explore lesser known parts of it. The sheer quantity that he wrote as well as its quality means that demands on our purses and our time are already considerable, but I do urge you very strongly to make room for this issue. It contains some of Haydn’s very greatest and most life-affirming music in performances that match those qualities to a quite extraordinary degree. Whatever mood I have been in or however I have felt before listening to these discs I have always finished feeling markedly better. What a composer and what performances!

The last six of Haydn’s Masses, from the Missa in tempore belli (Hob.XXII.9) to the Harmoniemesse (Hob.XXII.14), are clearly amongst his greatest works but getting their character right in performance is much more difficult than one might suppose. I have listened to many performances live and on disc that simply missed the point by being too heavy, technically inadequate, badly balanced or just plain dull. The great virtue of the performances here is their constant alertness to the changing character of the music, and to its essential underlying rhythms. The words “dancing”, “bouncy” and “characterful” appear repeatedly in my notes. The performances are not perfect but the music’s underlying humanity is never in doubt. This applies possibly even more to the earlier and less frequently performed works. The Nikolaimesse for instance has a delightful rural charm, whereas the Cäcilienmesse is presented without apology as the amazing and virtuoso collection of styles that it comprises. I still find the Stabat Mater one of the composer’s less interesting works, but even this work seemed much more enjoyable than usual in this fresh, unstuffy and very clear performance.

What makes all of this surprising is that none of the performers, apart from Jane Glover who took over for the last three recordings, is well known, at least on this side of the Atlantic, and yet my comparisons give them the edge over starrier versions by Hickox, Guest and Bernstein - to mention a few I have listened to recently. The choir is that of Trinity Church, Wall Street, New York, and all the soloists are drawn from it. Bearing in mind Haydn’s virtuoso writing especially for the sopranos this might seem like a recipe for disaster but in fact the uniformly high quality of the soloists is one of the great glories of the set. Ann Hoyt, in particular, who sings soprano solos on most of the earlier recordings, is fully the equal of most of the much better known soloists on earlier sets. Her somewhat boy-like purity of tone and her sensitivity to the text and musical line are worth returning to over and over again. Maybe she is helped a little by the recording - it is difficult to judge the size of her voice as recorded - but the effect as it is presented here is stunning. Her main successor in the later recordings under Jane Glover - Nicole Palmer - is more conventional in tone but still well in command of the music. The many other soloists are also good, and above all work as a team, an essential quality in these works.

Unsurprisingly the rest of the choir are of a similar high standard, singing with accuracy, musicality and fervour which it would be hard to beat. The orchestra, sometimes listed as the REBEL Baroque Orchestra and at others as the Rebel Baroque Orchestra, are a period instrument group who play with real character. One surprise is the organ, which makes a delightfully burbling sound in its solo moments, but is apparently a digital instrument, the church’s pipe organ having been severely damaged on 9/11. [see footnote]

The real hero of the set is however the main conductor, J Owen Burdick, who was director of music at Trinity Church from 1990 to 2008 when he left under difficult circumstances. The bouncing rhythms, clear textures, varied articulation and sheer exuberance are surely the result of his work, and the great success of this set is largely the result of these factors. He does have some idiosyncrasies, certainly, in particular his liking for heavy slowing down at the end of sections of the Mass. After a while I came to expect this, if never to enjoy it, but it is a small price to pay for the quality of the rest of the performances. The three performances conducted by Jane Glover are clearly different in style, to my ears more conventional in their underlying rhythmic attack, but they are by no means an unworthy conclusion to the series.

Although the title of the box is “The Complete Haydn Masses” it does not include the two early Masses “Missa Sunt bona mixta malis” (Hob.XXII.2) and “Missa Rorate coeli desuper” (Hob.XXII.3). A note explains that this is because they are both fragmentary and of uncertain provenance, but given the relatively short length of some of the discs there would have been ample space for them, and perhaps also for some of the shorter sacred works such as the Te Deum. The Stabat Mater is included, getting a whole disc to itself, raising the issue as to why the choral version of The Seven Last Words might not also have been included. All of this is however unimportant. What matters is that this is set gives amazing satisfaction in music of supreme quality. For me this has been the highlight of my anniversary year listening.

-- John Sheppard, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Stabat Mater, H 20 bis by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Stephen Sands (Tenor), Luthien Brackett (Alto), Ann Hoyt (Soprano),
Richard Lippold (Bass)
Conductor:  Owen Burdick
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Trinity Church Choir,  Rebel Baroque Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1767; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
2.
Missa Cellensis in honorem, H 22 no 5 "Cäcilienmesse" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Matthew Hughes (Tenor), Julie Liston (Soprano), Richard Lippold (Bass),
Stephen Sands (Tenor), Luthien Brackett (Alto), Ann Hoyt (Soprano),
Bert K. Johnson (Bass), Kirsten Sollek (Alto)
Conductor:  Owen Burdick
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Trinity Church Choir,  Rebel Baroque Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1766; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
3.
Missa Sancti Nicolai, H 22 no 6 "Nikolaimesse" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Stephen Sands (Tenor), Luthien Brackett (Alto), Ann Hoyt (Soprano),
Richard Lippold (Bass)
Conductor:  Owen Burdick
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Trinity Church Choir,  Rebel Baroque Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1772; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
4.
Mass in D minor, H 22 no 11 "Nelsonmesse" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Ann Hoyt (Soprano), Kirsten Sollek (Alto), Daniel Mutlu (Tenor),
Andrew Nolen (Bass)
Conductor:  Owen Burdick
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Trinity Church Choir,  Rebel Baroque Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1798; Vienna, Austria 
5.
Missa Cellensis, H 22 no 8 "Mariazellermesse" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Sharla Nafziger (Soprano), Nathan Davis (Tenor), Kirsten Sollek (Alto),
Richard Lippold (Bass), Ann Hoyt (Soprano)
Conductor:  Owen Burdick
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Trinity Church Choir,  Rebel Baroque Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1782; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
6.
Missa in tempore belli, H 22 no 9 "Paukenmesse" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Daniel Neer (Tenor), Ann Hoyt (Soprano), Richard Lippold (Bass),
Kirsten Sollek (Alto)
Conductor:  Owen Burdick
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Trinity Church Choir,  Rebel Baroque Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1796; Vienna, Austria 
7.
Missa in honorem BVM, H 22 no 4 "Grosse Orgelmesse" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Stephen Sands (Tenor), Luthien Brackett (Alto), Ann Hoyt (Soprano),
Richard Lippold (Bass)
Conductor:  Owen Burdick
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Trinity Church Choir,  Rebel Baroque Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1774; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
8.
Missa Sancti Bernardi von Offida, H 22 no 10 "Heiligmesse" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Richard Lippold (Bass), Ann Hoyt (Soprano), Kirsten Sollek (Alto),
Daniel Mutlu (Tenor), Andrew Nolen (Bass), Hai-Ting Chinn (Alto)
Conductor:  Owen Burdick
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Trinity Church Choir,  Rebel Baroque Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1796; Vienna, Austria 
9.
Missa brevis in F major, H 22 no 1 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Julie Liston (Soprano), Ann Hoyt (Soprano), Richard Lippold (Bass)
Conductor:  Owen Burdick
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Trinity Church Choir,  Rebel Baroque Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: ?1749; Vienna, Austria 
10.
Mass in B flat major, H 22 no 14 "Harmoniemesse" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Nina Faia (Soprano), Nacole Palmer (Soprano), Kirsten Sollek (Alto),
Daniel Mutlu (Tenor), Matthew Hensrud (Tenor), Andrew Nolen (Bass)
Conductor:  Jane Glover
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Trinity Church Choir,  Rebel Baroque Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1802; Vienna, Austria 
11.
Mass in B flat major, H 22 no 13 "Schöpfungmesse" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Daniel Mutlu (Tenor), Nina Faia (Soprano), Nacole Palmer (Soprano),
Kirsten Sollek (Alto), Matthew Hensrud (Tenor), Andrew Nolen (Bass)
Conductor:  Jane Glover
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Trinity Church Choir,  Rebel Baroque Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1801; Vienna, Austria 
12.
Missa brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo, H 22 no 7 "Kleine Orgelmesse" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Dongsok Shin (Organ), Ann Hoyt (Soprano)
Conductor:  Owen Burdick
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Trinity Church Choir,  Rebel Baroque Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1778; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
13.
Mass in B flat major, H 22 no 12 "Theresien-Messe" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Daniel Mutlu (Tenor), Nacole Palmer (Soprano), Kirsten Sollek (Alto),
Matthew Hensrud (Tenor), Andrew Nolen (Bass)
Conductor:  Jane Glover
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Trinity Church Choir,  Rebel Baroque Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1799; Vienna, Austria 

Sound Samples

Stabat Mater, Hob.XXbis: Stabat Mater dolorosa
Stabat Mater, Hob.XXbis: O quam tristis et afflicta
Stabat Mater, Hob.XXbis: Quis est homo qui non fleret
Stabat Mater, Hob.XXbis: Quis non posset contristari
Stabat Mater, Hob.XXbis: Pro peccatis suae gentis
Stabat Mater, Hob.XXbis: Vidit suum dulcem natum
Stabat Mater, Hob.XXbis: Eja Mater, fons amoris
Stabat Mater, Hob.XXbis: Sancta Mater, istud agas
Stabat Mater, Hob.XXbis: Fac me vere tecum flere
Stabat Mater, Hob.XXbis: Virgo virginum praeclara
Stabat Mater, Hob.XXbis: Flammis orci ne succendar
Stabat Mater, Hob.XXbis: Fac me cruce custodiri
Stabat Mater, Hob.XXbis: Quando corpus morietur
Stabat Mater, Hob.XXbis: Paradisi gloria
Mass No. 3 in C major, Hob.XXII:5, "Missa Cellensis in honorem BVM", "Cacilienmesse": Kyrie: Kyrie eleison
Mass No. 3 in C major, Hob.XXII:5, "Missa Cellensis in honorem BVM", "Cacilienmesse": Kyrie: Christe eleison
Mass No. 3 in C major, Hob.XXII:5, "Missa Cellensis in honorem BVM", "Cacilienmesse": Kyrie: Kyrie eleison
Mass No. 3 in C major, Hob.XXII:5, "Missa Cellensis in honorem BVM", "Cacilienmesse": Gloria: Gloria in excelsis Deo
Mass No. 3 in C major, Hob.XXII:5, "Missa Cellensis in honorem BVM", "Cacilienmesse": Gloria: Laudamus te
Mass No. 3 in C major, Hob.XXII:5, "Missa Cellensis in honorem BVM", "Cacilienmesse": Gloria: Gratias agimus tibi
Mass No. 3 in C major, Hob.XXII:5, "Missa Cellensis in honorem BVM", "Cacilienmesse": Gloria: Domine Deus
Mass No. 3 in C major, Hob.XXII:5, "Missa Cellensis in honorem BVM", "Cacilienmesse": Gloria: Qui tollis peccata mundi
Mass No. 3 in C major, Hob.XXII:5, "Missa Cellensis in honorem BVM", "Cacilienmesse": Gloria: Quoniam tu solus sanctus
Mass No. 3 in C major, Hob.XXII:5, "Missa Cellensis in honorem BVM", "Cacilienmesse": Gloria: Cum Sancto Spiritu
Mass No. 3 in C major, Hob.XXII:5, "Missa Cellensis in honorem BVM", "Cacilienmesse": Gloria: In gloria Dei Patris
Mass No. 3 in C major, Hob.XXII:5, "Missa Cellensis in honorem BVM", "Cacilienmesse": Credo: Credo in unum Deum
Mass No. 3 in C major, Hob.XXII:5, "Missa Cellensis in honorem BVM", "Cacilienmesse": Credo: Et incarnatus est
Mass No. 3 in C major, Hob.XXII:5, "Missa Cellensis in honorem BVM", "Cacilienmesse": Credo: Et resurrexit tertia dei
Mass No. 3 in C major, Hob.XXII:5, "Missa Cellensis in honorem BVM", "Cacilienmesse": Sanctus
Mass No. 3 in C major, Hob.XXII:5, "Missa Cellensis in honorem BVM", "Cacilienmesse": Benedictus
Mass No. 3 in C major, Hob.XXII:5, "Missa Cellensis in honorem BVM", "Cacilienmesse": Agnus Dei: Agnus Dei
Mass No. 3 in C major, Hob.XXII:5, "Missa Cellensis in honorem BVM", "Cacilienmesse": Agnus Dei: Dona nobis pacem

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