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Schubert: Mass No 5, Magnificat / Schuldt-jensen, Immortal Bach Ensemble

Schubert / Immortal Bach Ens / Schuldt-jensen
Release Date: 01/25/2011 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8572114  
Composer:  Franz Schubert
Performer:  Bettina RanchTrine Wilsberg LundMin Woo LimDominik Koniger
Conductor:  Morten Schuldt-Jensen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Chamber OrchestraImmortal Bach Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 49 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

If you're a fan of Schubert's sacred choral music, this Naxos series, which includes all six Masses and other church works, promises consistently fine performances as good or better than the catalog competition, very well recorded in the complementary acoustics of a Leipzig church. A significant advantage is the presence of the same performing forces throughout the series--and they are solid, well-practiced, and very effective interpreters of this music, which, especially in the earlier works, isn't always the most dynamic or inventive or inspired. However, this Mass No. 5 in A-flat major, completed in 1822 when the composer was what for him would turn out to be the "ripe old age" of 25 (he revised the Mass four years later)--is a Read more work decidedly more substantive and refined, particularly regarding the more skillful treatment of the orchestra and more proficient handling of thematic ideas in the choral and solo parts.

The opening is a nifty little imitative sequence--first a choir of winds, then one of strings, followed by the choral sopranos and altos, then tenors and basses, gradually bringing everyone together. There are other memorable moments--the powerful fugal conclusion to the Gloria, the dramatic opening section of the Credo, complete with brass interjections, the strange "horn-call" recurring theme in the Sanctus. Perhaps most memorable is the sheer number and variety of ideas Schubert has crammed into this 40-minute work, which may not add up to the most cohesive Mass ever written, but it's hard to fault the composer for the attractiveness of those ideas or for his command of orchestral and choral resources.

Schubert's C major Magnificat is not a complete setting of this beloved text--it uses only the beginning "Magnificat anima mea Dominum" and "Deposuit potentes de sede" verses, concluding with the "Gloria Patri". Its relatively short timing (not quite nine minutes) and big scoring (four soloists, choir, pairs of oboes, bassoons, trumpets, and drums, plus strings and organ) probably ensures its virtual neglect by concert programmers, but there's some fine music here, especially the "Deposuit..." section that features lovely Mozartean writing for the ensemble of soloists. As mentioned, Schubert fans should not hesitate, and if you're a listener looking for a way in to the composer's church music, this is an excellent place to start. Recommended.

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Mass no 5 in A flat major, D 678 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Bettina Ranch (Alto), Trine Wilsberg Lund (Soprano), Min Woo Lim (Tenor),
Dominik Koniger (Bass)
Conductor:  Morten Schuldt-Jensen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Chamber Orchestra,  Immortal Bach Ensemble
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1822; Vienna, Austria 
2.
Magnificat in C major, D 486 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Bettina Ranch (Alto), Trine Wilsberg Lund (Soprano), Min Woo Lim (Tenor),
Dominik Koniger (Bass)
Conductor:  Morten Schuldt-Jensen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Chamber Orchestra,  Immortal Bach Ensemble
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1815; Vienna, Austria 

Sound Samples

Mass No. 5 in A flat major, D. 678: Kyrie
Mass No. 5 in A flat major, D. 678: Gloria: Gloria in excelsis Deo
Mass No. 5 in A flat major, D. 678: Gloria: Gratias agimus tibi
Mass No. 5 in A flat major, D. 678: Gloria: Domine Deus, Agnus Dei
Mass No. 5 in A flat major, D. 678: Gloria: Cum Sancto Spiritu
Mass No. 5 in A flat major, D. 678: Credo: Credo in unum Deum
Mass No. 5 in A flat major, D. 678: Credo: Et incarnatus est
Mass No. 5 in A flat major, D. 678: Credo: Et resurrexit
Mass No. 5 in A flat major, D. 678: Credo: Confiteor
Mass No. 5 in A flat major, D. 678: Sanctus: Sanctus Dominus
Mass No. 5 in A flat major, D. 678: Sanctus: Osanna in excelsis
Mass No. 5 in A flat major, D. 678: Benedictus
Mass No. 5 in A flat major, D. 678: Agnus Dei: Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi
Mass No. 5 in A flat major, D. 678: Agnus Dei: Dona nobis pacem
Magnificat in C major, D. 486: Magnificat anima mea Dominum
Magnificat in C major, D. 486: Deposuit potentes de sede
Magnificat in C major, D. 486: Gloria Patri

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