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Mozart: Missa Solemnis, Vesperae De Dominica, Regina Caeli / Carwood, St. Paul Cathedral Choir

Mozart / Russell / Markeby / Carwood
Release Date: 06/12/2012 
Label:  Hyperion   Catalog #: 67921  
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Lynda RussellLina MarkebyJames OxleyDavid Wilson-Johnson,   ... 
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Paul's Cathedral ChoirSt. Paul's Mozart Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 9 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

These genial performances are perfectly in scale and will be welcome to many.

For this recording the choir have left the resonant spaces of their echoing home territory and moved down the road to the smaller acoustic of St Giles. In fact one would have expected the original performances in Salzburg to have been designed by Mozart for a larger space. This recording enables one to appreciate the detail of the scores better without the wash of echo. In fact the engineers have set the microphones back slightly from the performers. The resulting reverberation enables one to have the best of both worlds. Under the circumstances it is perhaps odd that the cover illustration emphasises the connection with St Paul’s, with a 2009
Read more illustration of the Cathedral by Nicole Walker which is not among the most prepossessing of Hyperion’s usually excellent cover designs.
 
The performances are thoroughly versed in eighteenth century period practice, although it appears that modern instruments are used. The soloists make a well-balanced team in the Missa Solemnis. The choir uses the boys’ voices that Mozart would clearly have expected in this music. The organ is set a little far back in the Epistle Sonata which is inserted between the Gloria and Credo of the mass. The booklet note by the conductor makes a good case for its inclusion at this juncture but the intricate passage-work in the solo part - although delicately played - is sometimes half-covered by the discreet string accompaniment.
 
These works are well-known and need no introduction beyond an observation that the Missa Solemnis, despite its title, is a small-scale piece designed for liturgical performance in Salzburg. Those expecting a work on the scale of early nineteenth century settings like those by Beethoven or Cherubini will be disappointed. The only concession to a more public manner comes in the Agnus Dei where Mozart gives us a positive coloratura display aria, which Lynda Russell dispatches neatly if without much bravura and a not altogether convincing trill. She is in better voice in her solo arias in the Regina caeli where her trills are cleaner and more crisp. Although there are more luxurious voices to be heard in these pieces in the catalogue, her account fits well into the context of these essentially small-scale performances.
 
The Vesperae solennes de Dominica constitute a more substantial work than the Missa Solemnis, setting five Psalms and concluding with a Magnificat which clocks in at a brisk 4.58. The soloists again make a well-balanced team, although the lion’s share of the work once more goes to Lynda Russell. This includes a poised rendition of the Laudate Dominum - not the well-known setting which comes from the Vesperae solennes de confessore. Again one might perhaps prefer a more well-upholstered voice, but the performance fits well into the context and the organ obbligato is well in the picture.
 
Those wanting either a performance using period instruments or a more romantic view of Mozart will look elsewhere, but these genial performances are perfectly in scale and will be welcome to many.
 
-- Paul Corfield Godfrey, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Vesperae de Dominica, K 321 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Lynda Russell (Soprano), Lina Markeby (Mezzo Soprano), James Oxley (Tenor),
David Wilson-Johnson (Baritone)
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Paul's Cathedral Choir,  St. Paul's Mozart Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1779; Salzburg, Austria 
2.
Regina coeli in C major, K 108 (74d) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Lynda Russell (Soprano), Lina Markeby (Mezzo Soprano), James Oxley (Tenor),
David Wilson-Johnson (Baritone)
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Paul's Cathedral Choir,  St. Paul's Mozart Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1771; Salzburg, Austria 
3.
Missa solemnis in C major, K 337 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Lynda Russell (Soprano), Lina Markeby (Mezzo Soprano), James Oxley (Tenor),
David Wilson-Johnson (Baritone)
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Paul's Cathedral Choir,  St. Paul's Mozart Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1780; Salzburg, Austria 
4.
Church Sonata for Organ and Strings no 17 in C major, K 336 (336d) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Simon Johnson (Organ)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1780; Salzburg, Austria 

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