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


paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Salon Treasures from the Max Jaffa Library



Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom




Anton BRUCKNER (1824–1896)
Mass in E Minor (1869) [36.37] (1)
Libera me, Domine (1854) [5.10] (1)
Josef Gabriel RHEINBERGER (1839–1901)
Requiem in E flat major (1867) [18.23]
KammerChor Saarbrücken
Kammerphilharmonie Mannheim(1)/Georg Grün
rec. Studio 1, Saarlandischer Rundfunk, 1-3 February 2008. DDD
CARUS 83.414 [59.10]


Experience Classicsonline

’s Mass in E minor is available on CD in a variety of versions. Matthew Best’s performance with the Corydon Singer has been re-issued by Hyperion on its budget price Helios label. Dating from the 1980s it has been a touch-stone for years. But last year Hyperion issued a new full price disc, this time with Polyphony conducted by Stephen Layton - another benchmark against which we must measure others.

Georg Grün’s KammerChor Saarbrücken was founded in 1990 and has developed into one of the major German choirs. They have an interesting discography which covers music from all periods including contemporary. On this new disc the choir are joined by members of the Kammerphilharmonie Mannheim for Bruckner’s E minor mass. Then the choir alone perform Rheinberger’s unaccompanied Requiem in E flat.

The Mass in E minor is the second of Bruckner’s three full-scale masses. It was originally intended for the commemoration of a new votive chapel at the Cathedral in Linz. The service was to take place out of doors, hence the use of only wind instruments, traditional harmonie-musik, as accompaniment. In the mass Bruckner welds his interest in vocal practices of earlier times with more contemporary structural techniques. It is a far more modern work than the previous Mass in D minor - for the first time we can hear the Bruckner of the symphonies with his liking for contrasting blocks of massed sound. In many ways the mass is quite austere, with lightly accompanied quiet contrapuntal voices punctuated by louder bodies of sound.

An ideal performance must combine a feeling for the sacred with a more secular revelling in the sheer gorgeousness of Bruckner’s sounds. Though intended as a strictly liturgical work, this is a piece which is suspended part-way between church and concert hall.

The KammerChor Saarbrücken make a bright, focused sound. It sounds as if they are quite a young group and their virtues are focus, clarity and a fine sense of line. As recorded here, their sound quality would work well in the music of earlier periods which inspired Bruckner. The quiet opening of the Kyrie is ravishing. Under Grün’s capable direction they give the music a quiet intensity which makes it clear that this is a reading in which the sacred is to the fore.

The performance does get loud and Grün shows himself adept at balancing the structure of Bruckner’s piece. But my overall impression was one of quietness and a revealing of the soul of the piece; ethereal transparency seems to be Grün’s goal. When you compare the performance with Matthew Best and the Corydon Singers, you find that the Corydons are no less spiritual, but the choir has a bit more aural presence - they are clear and pure but warmer of tone than Grün’s forces. This pays dividends when the music gets louder.

What the KammerChor Saarbrücken do not quite seem to do is to revel in Bruckner’s luxurious textures.  Even when things get loud and high, the choral sound remains relatively austere and rather cool.

It is pointless recording this mass unless the sopranos can sing the high vocal lines in a confident manner. This the KammerChor Saarbrücken do, but the sound quality never really opens up. Too often in reviews I find myself bemoaning choirs whose tone quality neglects a sense of line and focus. I have even suggested that certain choirs give up singing renaissance music and try Bruckner! Here I find that I am made to stand on my head and wish that, in the major moments, the choir would open up more and make a more Romantic sound.  It is significant that for most of the performance the choir sounds smaller than its fifty-strong complement. That said, this is a beautifully performed and shaped account of the mass.

They are nicely accompanied by the winds of the Kammerphilharmonie Mannheim. Like the choir they give a slight backwards glance to Bruckner’s accompaniment, giving it the attractive feel of the Harmonie-Musik of previous generations. The balance between choir and instruments is perhaps a little more natural on this disc than on the Corydon Singers disc, where the instrumental ensemble seems to dominate somewhat.

The Bruckner mass is accompanied by a strong performance of his motet Libera me, Domine.

The disc is completed by Rheinberger’s Requiem in E flat, for unaccompanied chorus. This should not be confused with his earlier Requiem in B flat minor. The E flat Requiem was probably written on the occasion of the death of his sister. The title page bears the remark ‘easy to perform’ and this is most definitely practical music. The work is mainly homophonic and syllabic, with much use of chorale-style material. Each of the movements is a short motet-like piece. In his earlier sacred music, Rheinberger was influenced by the Cecilian movement and their tenets seem, to be echoed in this setting. It is a charming piece, well performed by Georg Grün and his choir, but it is not a work that I will come back to very often.

There is much to commend on this disc, but Georg Grün and his choir are up against strong competition especially as the Corydons’ disc is now available at budget price. Also, not everyone will like the clean, clear sound quality of Grün’s choir, but it will appeal to some.

Robert Hugill



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

July 2022

John Luther Adams Houses of the Wind
John Luther Adams
Houses of the Wind

Horneman Alladin
Horneman Alladin

Stojowski piano concertos
Piano Concertos 1 & 2

Vaughan Williams on Brass

Yi Lin Jiang - Dualis I

June 2022

Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32

Orchestral Works

String Quartets Vol 1





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


      Composer surveys
      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

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


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

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



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

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
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
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
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.