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Beethoven: Missa Solemnis, Etc / Giulini, Harper, Baker


Release Date: 01/09/2001 
Label:  Emi Classics Special Import Catalog #: 69440   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Robert TearHeather HarperDame Janet BakerHans Sotin,   ... 
Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic OrchestraNew Philharmonia ChorusNew Philharmonia Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 17 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

The New Philharmonia Chorus sings splendidly for Giulini... Here I have a scribbled note "Harper superb", so it seems the right place to mention the solo quartet. Klemperer's singers are splendid indeed but, reading the names, you will see that HMV have assembled an Outstanding group for Giulini and they are all in thrilling voice. I don't know that I prefer Hans Sotin's very dark voice (perfect for Sarastro) to the superb Martti Talvela in the Klemperer version; but on the whole, the solo singing on this latest recording is so thrilling that I must give it the edge over that of the Kiemperer quartet.

The final fugue of the Gloria under Giulini is extraordinarily well sung (and recorded); and the definition of rhythm
Read more in the new, faster tempo (bar 459) is first-rate... The solo quartet is at its best in the Agnus Dei and the link into "dona nobis pacem" is magically done. This chorus is indeed sung with just the right air of prayerful serenity. I must also note the imaginative realization by Giulini of the great passage in the Agnus Dei, with the distant string background, the trumpets playing so softly at its start and with the utmost crispness; and Dame Janet Baker leads, followed by Robert Tear ascending to a if climax backed by the chorus; then one more great cry of "agnus dci", this from Heather Harper on a top A flat, melting magically into the calm of "dons nobis pacem".

-- Gramophone [7/1976, reviewing the original LP release of Missa Solemnis]

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[Janet Baker's] unique way with words and their colouring is particularly evident in "Qui tollis peccata mundi" in the Gloria and in her entries alone in Benedictus... There are foreshadowings of the Missa Solemnis at several points. Beethoven already often keeps the chorus sopranos above the top of the stave, for example in "Osanna in excelsis", sung on high A's and the final "Amen" of the Credo at a similar altitude... [T]he palm must go to the Pitz-trained New Philharmonia Chorus... The same is the case with the [orchestra]: for precision and beauty of detail the New Philharmonia is unsurpassed. Two examples must suffice: at "Deum de Deo lumen de lumine", in the Credo, the woodwind and horns' chords are marked fp, as also the strings, with the first violins descending from high B flat to C below the stave. Giulini and the orchestra make these dynamics suggest dazzling shafts of light. The other example comes at the end of Agnus Dei, the short phrase for horn and bassoon, several times repeated, and echoed by woodwind and strings, and finally played by the horn alone in the closing bars—the flute responding. All this is exquisite, and as inspired as anything in the Missa Solemnis.

The clue to Giulini's devotional interpretation...can be summed up in the deeply expressive singing he gets from the chorus in "qui propter nos homines et propter nostram salutem descendit de caelis". That really says all.

-- Gramophone [6/1971, reviewing the original LP release of the Mass in C major]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Missa solemnis in D major, Op. 123 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Robert Tear (Tenor), Heather Harper (Soprano), Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano),
Hans Sotin (Bass)
Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Chorus
Period: Classical 
Written: 1823; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 05/10/1975 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 87 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is sung in Greek and Latin. 
2.
Mass in C major, Op. 86 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Theo Altmeyer (Tenor), Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Elly Ameling (Soprano),
Marius Rintzler (Bass)
Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Chorus
Period: Classical 
Written: 1807; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  All Saints Church, Tooting, England 
Length: 48 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Notes: All Saints Church, Tooting, England (09/15/1970 - 09/18/1970)
This selection is sung in Greek and Latin. 

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