Notes and Editorial Reviews
Marie-Claude Vallin's captivating performance perfectly captures the essential innocence of the Ave regina, while Ann Monoyios has an altogether fuller, more mature quality as befits the more intense Salve regina. A disc of real beauty.
The obvious importance of this new release is the first appearance on disc of two recent Haydn discoveries, the brief Offertorium Non nobis, Domine and fragments (the Kyrie and part of the Gloria) of a Mass Sunt bona mixta malis. But its real charms lie in two works for solo soprano, choir and orchestra composed to mark the entry into convent life of Therese Keller whom Robbins Landon, in his characteristically earthy insert-note, suggests was Haydn's great love: ''We must imagine the young Haydn, heartbroken, watching the love of his life taking the veil''. Be that as it may, what seeps out of every pore is a warmth and sincerity, something akin to profound inner happiness, which makes one wonder just how deep Haydn's love was for the devout Therese Keller. Marie-Claude Vallin's captivating performance perfectly captures the essential innocence of the Ave regina. Her voice has a naive, almost childlike quality, although in her ethereally soaring high notes and fluent trills there is no doubting her technical command.
Ann Monoyios has an altogether fuller, more mature quality as befits the more intense Salve regina although, again, if this is Haydn heart-broken, he must have had superhuman powers of recuperation. Bruno Weil's support for these two delightful singers is as unobtrusive as it is sympathetic. His excellent team of musicians (not forgetting the splendid work from the Vivarte recording team) are allowed to relax in performances which seem almost to float on air, so graceful and effortless does it all sound. Add to this a performance of the Little Organ Mass (No. 7) of rare poise and elegance and you have a disc of real beauty.
-- Marc Rochester, Gramophone [9/1994]