Notes and Editorial Reviews
This is an excellent, absolutely world-class recording of Bach's B minor Mass. Anyone familiar with the work of the Dresden Chamber Choir knows that it is one of the best around, and it sings with both precision and fervor. Helmut Müller-Brühl uses modern instruments but with a thorough knowledge of period practice. The celebratory choruses, such as the opening of the Gloria, the Credo's Et expecto resurrectionem, and the Sanctus, really dance with joy. Orchestral and vocal textures are immaculately clear. The trumpets and timpani have all of the necessary impact without a hint of shrillness, and even the flutes have a natural presence, lightly coloring Bach's instrumental palette. You can even make out the gurgling bassoons in
the Quoniam, which is taken at a lively tempo that prevents its horn theme from sounding like a variation on "Somewhere Over the Rainbow".
If this performance has an Achilles' heel, it comes in the form of some less-than-stellar solo work from bass-baritone Hanno Müller-Brachmann and from one of the mezzos (their individual contributions are not identified). The Christe eleison duet goes very well, for example, but Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris could be a touch steadier. Tenor Markus Schäfer turns in a very appealing Benedictus, however, and I can certainly name several performances of this work that have received generally high acclaim despite even greater weaknesses in the solo vocal department. To my mind, it's not a big problem at all. Additionally, this is one of the very few hybrid CDs where the SACD multichannel version is clearly preferable to normal stereo, with greater richness, depth, and presence. In surround-sound I found this a glorious experience, and I suspect you will too.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less
Works on This Recording
Mass in B minor, BWV 232 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Marianne Beate Kielland (Mezzo Soprano),
Ann Hallenberg (Mezzo Soprano),
Markus Schäfer (Tenor),
Hanno Müller-Brachmann (Bass Baritone),
Sunhae Im (Soprano)
Cologne Chamber Orchestra,
Dresden Chamber Choir
Written: 1747-49; Leipzig, Germany
Be the first to review this title