This is wonderful. I have not enjoyed a choral work so much for a very long
It has all the ingredients of a masterpiece ... colour, contrast, drama,
passion, memorable themes, durability, an original exposition of the text
and incredible writing for the solo voices and the choir.
And what a performance. Despite the gloomy subject the music is both vibrant
The soloists are first rate. The two sopranos are excellent and have contrasting
qualities in their respective voices. Catherine Malfitano has a clear mercurial
voice and glorious top notes and yet even this superlative singer is outshone
by Agnes Baltsa. Listen to her solo in the moving cavatina: fac ut
portem. I have not heard such a richly glorious voice since a full house
at a concert was unashamedly moved to tears by Sybil Michelow.
Whatever happened to Agnes Baltsa and why did we not hear more of her?
This work is a masterpiece and it has given my friends and I lasting pleasure.
It has no weak moments but is excellent throughout.
It is a pity that Julian Budden's booklet gives a swipe at Wagner which is
both unnecessary and irrelevant. Perhaps I should take note.
(this comment refers to the booklet in the original full-price
issue. We have not seen the red-line booklet - LM)
This disc is a joy and recommended as heartily as a mere mortal can!