Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider


New App by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for iOS and Android!

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 


 REVIEW


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

alternatively
CD: Crotchet


Joseph HAYDN (1785-1850)
Harmoniemesse (1802) [42:58]
Cantata “Qual dubbio ormai” (1763) [15:00]
Te Deum (1762) [7:35]
Eva Mei (soprano); Elisabeth von Magnus (contralto); Herbert Lippert (tenor); Oliver Widmer (bass)
Concentus musicus Wien, Arnold Schoenberg Choir/Nikolaus Harnoncourt
rec. Pfarrkirkche, Stainz, Austria, July 1998
DAS ALTE WERK 2564 690552 [66:00]
Experience Classicsonline

Haydn chose a different compositional style in his 1802 Harmoniemesse. It’s no longer the ‘classical sound’ we are used to, but something altogether bolder. That can be disconcerting to ears that expect to be casually entertained with the easy beauty and gay spirit that features so strongly in most of his work. Intrepid if not quite yet ‘Beethovenesque-romantic’, the Kyrie and Gloria especially are rather demanding.

If you continue to listen attentively, you’ll happen upon the gem of “Et incarnatus est”, where the Gloria lets up; later the quickening Agnus Dei that concludes with the Dona nobis pacem, a positively rousing, rather joyous plea for peace. Harnoncourt sees especially in the latter parallels with Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis. You may not hear those, you will be able to imagine how Haydn, by now the most respected composer in Europe, sends the celebratory crowd - on the occasion of the name-day of Princess Maria Hermengild Esterházy - out of the church to the rather more secular part of the festivities.

At the very other end of Haydn’s output and career are the Te Deum and the Cantata “Qual dubbio ormai”. Rather than peeking into an emerging romantic language, they hark back to the late Viennese baroque tradition. These are small works-to-order for the Esterházy court when Haydn wasn’t the most celebrated musician alive but a lowly, humble Vice Court Capellmeister. The cantata’s main ingredient is the late-baroque/early classical soprano aria, vocal pyrotechnics of amiable character.

There’s a good bit of competition for Haydn masses; at least nine different recordings are available. My go-to version had hitherto been Gardiner’s set (Philips) of the six most popular of the fourteen masses. With that not being at hand, I pitted Harnoncourt against Sigiswald Kuijken (La Petite Bande, DHM), Richard Hickox (Collegium Musicum 90, Chandos), and Bruno Weil (Tafelmusik, Sony). There really isn’t an odd one out, either positively or negatively.

Weil is notable for his refreshingly swift tempi, matched occasionally by Hickox. The latter has the most focus on the voices, which are up-front and quite (too?) dramatic. Harnoncourt has his singers and orchestras reach your ears from further back, with more ambience surrounding them - similar to Weil but with more clarity. Weil has a boys’ choir (Tölzer Knabenchor) and they’re in absolute top form. If the sound was as vivid as Hickox’s (the Sony recording was made by Bavarian Radio in 1997 at the Irsee Monestary-home of one of the finest breweries there are, by the way), I’d have found my favorite with Weil, not least for the incredibly natural voices of his soloists.

But I also admire Harnoncourt’s flexibility of phrasing which makes for a very lively reading despite consistently slower tempi. If clarity and identifiableness of individual voices - vocal and orchestral - is of importance to you, Hickox should be most suited; where integration of all musical strands reigns paramount, the wonderfully balanced Kuijken would win.

If one of those qualities is of special importance to you or if you really love the work, it will be worth adding to your collection of Harmoniemessen. Otherwise any of these - including the temperate Harnoncourt - will do nicely and need not be replaced. Kuijken and Weil are both available thanks to ArkivMusic’s “ArkivCD” program where they resuscitate - properly licensed, of course - out of print interpretations from the catalogs of all major record companies. Hickox is available individually and in an 8-CD box of the complete masses. Rilling (Hänssler) and George Guest (Decca) are non-HIP alternatives.

Jens F. Laurson



 
 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools




Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.