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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    


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Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Fest- und Gedenksprüche, Op. 109 [10’06]. Motetten, Op. 110 [9’39].
Anton BRUCKNER (1833-1896)
Locus iste [3’02]. Os justi [4’40].
Franz LISZT (1811-1886)

Ave Maria in B [5’29]. Ave verum corpus [4’17]. Salve Regina [4’54]. In Nativitate Domini ad Matutinam (arr. Huber) [12’12].
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)

Deutsche Messe, D872 [21’42].
South German Radio Choir, Stuttgart/Rupert Huber
HAENSSLER MASTERPIECE COLLECTION CD94.004 [76’01]

 

The Südfunk-Chor, Stuttgart is evidently no average choir. They have the capacity to maintain the concentration required throughout this programme. The actual works themselves are carefully balanced. Brahms’s Op. 109 is a good place to start, with antiphonal effects adding to the interest, and with the third Motet, ‘Wo ist ein so herrlich Volk’, achieving just the right uplifting feel. The Motets, Op. 110, continue the serious aura. No. 2, ‘Ach, arme Welt’, with its rich textures and controlled passion is particularly beautiful (QUOTE 1).

The Bruckner items show off the choir’s ability to blend beautifully (QUOTE 2) and, if you only know Bruckner through his symphonies, this may prove a revelation. Liszt’s devotional side proves the ideal complement, with its rich textures. This religious aspect of Liszt is less overtly appealing than his flamboyant one, but it nevertheless is well worth exploring and puts a new slant on the familiar.

Schubert’s German Mass, D872, subtitled, ‘Hymns for the celebration of the Holy sacrifice of the Mass,’ is a very beautiful expression of his personal faith. The fourth movement, ‘Du gabst, o Herr, mir Sein und Leben’ is incredibly appealing, almost a Christmas card in sound (QUOTE 3).

Unfortunately, one has to download the booklet from the internet (from www.haenssler-classic.de), an unnecessary hassle which may, understandably, put some off. Nevertheless, this is a peaceful and beautiful hour and a quarter’s listening.

Colin Clarke

 



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