- Nacole Palmer (Soprano)
- Ann Hoyt (Soprano)
- Dongsok Shin (Organ)
- Daniel Mutlu (Tenor)
- Andrew Nolen (Bass Baritone)
Notes & Reviews:
This 8th and final volume of Naxos' acclaimed survey of Haydn's Masses contrast the intimately scaled Little Organ Mass with the symphonically conceived Mass in B flat major, nicknamed Theresienmesse after Marie Therese (wife of Emperor Francis II and soprano soloist in the 1st performances of The Creation and The Seasons).
These performances were first released in a multi-disc set devoted to all of Haydn's settings of the Mass. They make a revealing pairing, illustrating how far Haydn had come artistically from the Missa brevis (c.1774) to the towering Theresienmesse of 1799, one of the six settings of the text that crown his career and stand as miracles of Viennese Classicism. Both accounts here comprise "period" practice: lowered pitch (about A = 430), vibrato-free strings, and transparent choral and instrumental textures. The later work is, of course, the major attraction. As my favorite account of the score led by John Eliot Gardiner (for Phillips) is also "period" oriented, it is interesting to hear how Jane Glover's stylish reading differs from it. For one thing the strings in her orchestra have a thinner, more nasal astringency than those in Gardiner's ensemble. Then, too, Glover's soprano, Nicole Palmer, imposes an occasionally unpleasant vibrato that is anomalous in period style. Gardiner's soloists avoid this.
Nevertheless, Glover's reading remains attractive, particularly at its bargain price. Her tempos are well judged, her chorus and orchestra well disciplined, the overall performance conveying the music's wide emotional range from touching delicacy to joyous affirmation. The earlier Missa brevis, a work of but 16 minutes, is probably less familiar. Although it has some lovely touches, most listeners should find it interesting mainly as a revelation of what was a far less daring and innovative composer. J. Owen Burdick's direction is refreshingly unaffected and direct. The sound throughout both performances is first-rate.
As we have come to expect, J. Owen Burdick and his first-rate choir and orchestra capture both the functional, liturgical idiom and the musical/artistic aspects of these works with both enthusiasm and a respect for the particulars of Haydn's scoring - that unique, ingratiating "sonority". The boxed set is a bargain and well worth owning; but if you want only a representative recording from the collection, this one is a top choice.
Recording information: Trinity Church, New York.
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Works DetailsHaydn, Franz Joseph : Missa brevis St. Joannis de Deo, for soloists, chorus, organ & orchestra in B flat major ("Little Or
- Performers: Ann Hoyt (Soprano); Dongsok Shin (Organ)
- Conductor: Owen Burdick
- Notes: Trinity Church, New York (05/20/2004-05/21/2004)
- Running Time: 15 min. 27 sec.
- Period Time: Classical
- Form: Choral
- Written: by 1778
Haydn, Franz Joseph : Mass for soloists, chorus, organ & orchestra in B flat major ("Theresienmesse"), H. 22/12
- Performers: Daniel Mutlu (Tenor); Andrew Nolen (Bass Baritone); Nacole Palmer (Soprano)
- Conductor: Jane Glover
- Notes: Trinity Church, New York (09/10/2008-09/11/2008)
- Running Time: 12 min. 6 sec.
- Period Time: Classical
- Form: Choral
- Written: 1799