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Janacek, Kodály: Masses / O'Donnell, Reid, Westminster Choir

Album Summary

>Kodaly, Zoltan [Composer] : Missa Brevis for soloists, chorus & organ
>Kodaly, Zoltan [Composer] : Laudes organi, for chorus & organ
>Janácek, Leos : Mass for soloists, chorus & organ in E flat major, JW 9/5 (incomplete)
Performer Composers

Notes & Reviews:

The Janacek 'Mass' is a new completion of the 'unfinished' mass by Janacek expert Paul Wingfield. Janacek wrote this score for soloists, mixed chorus and organ probably in 1908. Twenty years later, he returned to it, incorporating most of it into his first draft of the "Glagolitic Mass". Fortunately, the incomplete 'Mass' was preserved by a pupil of Janacek's and was published in 1972. This important issue is offered in yet another stunning performance by the Westminster Choir.

'The intensity and focus of the treble voices, for which this choir is famed, brings a luminosity to Janacek's angular lines that compels attention ... radiant performances' (BBC Music Magazine)

'These pieces have an affecting quality, and they are most beautifully sung and lucidly recorded' (International Record Review)

'Westminster Cathedral Choir's discography is distinguished by immaculate preparation, inspired direction, outstanding choral singing and superlative recorded sound. A simply glorious performance and, as with the Martin and Pizzetti recording, this entire release should inspire even those for whom sacred music is usually a closed book. In short, this is a disc not to be missed' (Gramophone)

'Sumptuously recorded and delivered with obvious affection for the music, this is my personal record of the year' (Gramophone)

'An absolute triumph. Highly recommended' (Classic CD)

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Janácek began his Mass around 1908, left it to gather dust for 20 years, then turned it into the first draft of the Glagolitic Mass. Paul Wingfield's reconstruction draws substantially on the original draft of the Glagolitic Mass to the extent of including a complete movement (the Sanctus) from it. Clearly Janácek knew best, and the only distinguishing moments are those bits recognisably from the Glagolitic Mass. Unquestionably, though, both the Missa brevis and Laudes organi are among Kodály's most inspired creations. Yet new recordings of favourite works are prone to disappoint. Not this one. If anything, this stunning performance, crowned by Andrew Reid's masterly organ playing, raises this setting of dog-Latin verses in praise of the organ and commissioned by the American Guild of Organists even higher. About 20 years before Laudesorgani, the Missa brevis was first performed in this version for organ and chorus (it was originally an organ solo) in a bomb shelter during the 1944-5 Siege of Budapest. From such an inauspicious start, the work has fared remarkably well on record and this release represents an undoubted climax. It's a simply glorious performance and, in short, should not be missed.



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Works Details

>Zoltán Kodály (Composer) (1882 - 1967) : Missa Brevis for soloists, chorus & organ
  • Performer: Andrew Reid (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (07/06/1999-07/09/1999)
  • Running Time: 30 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1942-1944

>Zoltán Kodály (Composer) (1882 - 1967) : Laudes organi, for chorus & organ
  • Performer: Andrew Reid (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (07/06/1999-07/09/1999)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1966

>Leos Janácek (Composer) (1854 - 1928) : Mass for soloists, chorus & organ in E flat major, JW 9/5 (incomplete)
  • Performer: Andrew Reid (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (07/06/1999-07/09/1999)
  • Running Time: 17 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1907-1908