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Haydn: Creation Mass, etc / Hickox, Collegium Musicum 90

Album Summary

>Haydn, Franz Joseph : Mass for soloists, chorus, organ & orchestra in B flat major ("Schopfungsmesse"), H. 22/13
>Haydn, Franz Joseph : Missa Rorate coeli desuper, in G major (lost), H. 22/3
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"...this new reading eclipses both [Marriner on EMI & Guest on London] in the quality of its choir and soloists, the subtlety of Hickox's direction and the vividness and transparency of the recorded sound...Abetted by his first-rate period orchestra, Hickox is always alive to the felicities of Haydn's scoring, while the 24-strong professional choir are superbly responsive throughout..." -RW, Editor's Choice, Gramophone

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
The Creation Mass is no less resplendent or searching than, say, the Nelson Mass or the Harmoniemesse, a glorious affirmation of Haydn's reverent, optimistic yet by no means naive faith.

Even by Haydn's standards, the work is startling in its exploitation of colourful and dramatic key contrasts, as in the sudden swerve from F major to an apocalyptic fortissimo D flat at 'Judicare vivos'; the Benedictus, characteristically, moves from serene pastoral innocence (shades of 'With verdure clad' from The Creation) to urgent intensity in its central development; and the sublime G major Agnus Dei has a profound supplicatory fervour extraordinary even among the composer's many memorable settings of this text.

This reading eclipses previous recordings in the quality of its choir and soloists, the subtlety of Hickox's direction and the vividness and transparency of the recorded sound. In faster movements like the Kyrie and the openings of the Gloria and Credo Hickox strikes just the right balance between dignity and happy, pulsing energy, relishing each of Haydn's dramatic coups; and he brings a marvellous clarity and verve, and a sure sense of climax, to the chromatically inflected fugues in the Gloria and at 'Dona nobis pacem'. Abetted by his first-rate orchestra, Hickox is always alive to the felicities of Haydn's scoring, while the 24-strong professional choir is superbly responsive throughout.

We also get the alternative version of the Gloria, and the ultra-compressed (6'49") and instantly forgettable Missa rorate coeli desuper, which David Wyn Jones, in his excellent note, wryly describes as 'a reminder of how perfunctory church music in 18th-century Austria could be'. It's neatly dispatched by Hickox and his forces, but inevitably comes as an anticlimax.



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Works Details

>Haydn, Franz Joseph : Mass for soloists, chorus, organ & orchestra in B flat major ("Schöpfungsmesse"), H. 22/13
  • Performers: Susan Gritton (Soprano); Pamela Stephen (Mezzo Soprano); Stephen Varcoe
  • Conductor: Richard Hickox
  • Ensemble: Collegium Musicum 90
  • Notes: Blackheath Concert Hall, London, England (12/22/1995/12/23/1995)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1801

>Haydn, Franz Joseph : Missa Rorate coeli desuper, in G major (lost), H. 22/3
  • Conductor: Richard Hickox
  • Ensemble: Collegium Musicum 90
  • Notes: Blackheath Concert Hall, London, England (12/22/1995/12/23/1995)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Choral

>Haydn, Franz Joseph : Mass for soloists, chorus, organ & orchestra in B flat major ("Schöpfungsmesse"), H. 22/13
  • Conductor: Richard Hickox
  • Ensemble: Collegium Musicum 90 Choir
  • Notes: Blackheath Concert Hall, London, England (12/22/1995/12/23/1995)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1801