Notes & Reviews:
Gramophone Classical Music Guide
A proper representative of the orchestrated version of the Petite messe has been long overdue.
Chailly's performance is a glorious heartwarming affair. Not that you're likely to be convinced right away. To ears accustomed to the Kyrie in its original form, the texturing here is pure suet. Nor does the sound of the largish and here rather distantly placed choir seem especially well focused in the Christeeleison. Gradually, though, the ear adjusts, the musicians warm to their task, the performance gets into its stride. The Bologna Chorus sings the Gloria and Credo with passion, clarity and love. The tenor is adequate, the bass superb, the two girls absolutely fabulous. If the Crucifixus can never be as painful as it's in the sparer original version, this is amply offset by the sheer beauty of Daniella Dessì's singing and by the hair-raising force of the 'Et resurrexit' (superbly recorded) as Chailly and his choir realise it.
By the end, after Gloria Scalchi's deeply affecting account of the Agnus Dei, you begin to wonder whether the orchestral version wasn't more than a match for the original. It isn't, but it's an indication of the cumulative eloquence of this utterly inspired performance that it comes to seem so.