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Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Bernstein, Moser, Schwarz, Kollo, Moll


Release Date: 11/01/2000 
Label:  Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog #: 469546   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Kurt MollHanna SchwarzEdda MoserRené Kollo
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw OrchestraHilversum Radio Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 21 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

A lovingly crafted and deeply felt performance. Bernstein succeeded superbly in conveying his own intellectually ferocious vision of what the piece truly signifies.

In his Missa Solemnis, Beethoven grasped heavenward hoping to touch the face of a God he could neither see nor hear, in a supreme effort to bolster his own inner convictions. That's why you can view the piece from pretty much any faith-led or philosophical standpoint and the music still seems powerful and meaningful. Leonard Bernstein was a cogent and committed arbiter who succeeded superbly in conveying to all who would listen his own intellectually ferocious vision of what the piece truly signifies. Thus, DG's Galleria reissue of his 1978 Concertgebouw
Read more performance is one of the greatest utterances of Bernstein's Indian summer on the Yellow Label.


It's clear that Bernstein's individual view of the work matured and evolved radically since he first recorded the mass with New York forces in 1960. The earlier account is the more robust and visceral view, the later one being more visionary in character--arguably more akin to cosmological reasoning clothed in musical terms. But in the Concertgebouw reading I sometimes miss the eruptive forcefulness that the young Bernstein of 1960 unleashed in the Gloria, which was taken at not only a faster tempo, but also featured choral singing from the Westminster Choir whose incisive quality (almost certainly a result of the closer balanced recording) reminded me that it was Romain Rolland who wrote that this music overflowed the church's dimensions in all it stood for. We also shouldn't forget that Beethoven added the superscription "from the heart--may it go to the heart" to the score of this work. Bernstein took that on trust, as you'll sense particularly in sections like the "Dona nobis pacem", an invocation in this Concertgebouw performance of what Beethoven called "both inner and outer peace".


Both the Kyrie and Sanctus of this DG performance re-enact true devotion, yet you'll need to decide if you value vision over electricity. If it's the former, don't overlook the 1974 Karajan version from Berlin. In Janowitz, Baltsa, Schreier, and Van Dam, Karajan had an exceptional quartet of soloists, far superior to Bernstein's in Amsterdam (Edda Moser's soprano contributions often sound pressurized, though René Kollo's tenor voice was in fine form for this recording), so Karajan's is still the version I'd choose to live with. But a particular joy of Bernstein's Amsterdam account is the beatific solo violin in the Benedictus, played with great eloquence and serenity by Herman Krebbers.


If you're new to the Missa Solemnis, this bargain Galleria disc is an ideal introduction to the work, as it is well played and recorded. But you'll want to explore it from other philosophical viewpoints as well, and sooner or later you'll gravitate toward Toscanini's celebrated NBC performance from 1953, one of the greatest recordings of all time. Meanwhile, don't miss out on Bernstein in Amsterdam: this lovingly crafted and deeply felt version has much in its favor.
--Michael Jameson, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Missa solemnis in D major, Op. 123 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Kurt Moll (Bass), Hanna Schwarz (Alto), Edda Moser (Soprano),
René Kollo (Tenor)
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Hilversum Radio Chorus
Period: Classical 
Written: 1823; Vienna, Austria 

Sound Samples

Mass In D, Op.123 "Missa Solemnis": Kyrie: Kyrie eleison
Mass In D, Op.123 "Missa Solemnis": Kyrie: Christe eleison
Mass In D, Op.123 "Missa Solemnis": Kyrie: Kyrie eleison
Mass In D, Op.123 "Missa Solemnis": Gloria: Gloria in excelsis Deo
Mass In D, Op.123 "Missa Solemnis": Gloria: Qui tollis peccata mundi
Mass In D, Op.123 "Missa Solemnis": Gloria: Quoniam tu solus sanctus
Mass In D, Op.123 "Missa Solemnis": Gloria: In gloria Dei Patris, Amen
Mass In D, Op.123 "Missa Solemnis": Gloria: Amen - Quoniam tu solus sanctus
Mass In D, Op.123 "Missa Solemnis": Credo: Credo in unum Deum
Mass In D, Op.123 "Missa Solemnis": Credo: Et incarnatus est
Mass In D, Op.123 "Missa Solemnis": Credo: Et ascendit in coelum
Mass In D, Op.123 "Missa Solemnis": Credo: Et vitam venturi saeculi
Mass In D, Op.123 "Missa Solemnis": Credo: Amen
Mass In D, Op.123 "Missa Solemnis": Sanctus: Sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaoth
Mass In D, Op.123 "Missa Solemnis": Sanctus: Pleni sunt coeli
Mass In D, Op.123 "Missa Solemnis": Sanctus: Praeludium
Mass In D, Op.123 "Missa Solemnis": Sanctus: Benedictus
Mass In D, Op.123 "Missa Solemnis": Agnus Dei: Agnus Dei
Mass In D, Op.123 "Missa Solemnis": Agnus Dei: Dona nobis pacem
Mass In D, Op.123 "Missa Solemnis": Agnus Dei: Agnus Dei
Mass In D, Op.123 "Missa Solemnis": Agnus Dei: Presto

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