Author Topic: Beethoven Missa Solemnis  (Read 37961 times)

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Offline Rod Corkin

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Re: Beethoven Missa Solemnis
« Reply #200 on: May 11, 2014, 01:19:06 AM »
Another source regarding the use of soloists or choir in the Sanctus/Benedictus, none other than Anton Schindler...

http://classicalmusicmayhem.freeforums.org/post8647.html#p8647
« Last Edit: May 11, 2014, 02:02:44 AM by Rod Corkin »
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Offline knight66

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Re: Beethoven Missa Solemnis
« Reply #201 on: June 06, 2014, 10:32:06 PM »

Beethoven Missa Solemnis: Donath, Soffell, Jerusalem, Sotin, Edinburgh Festival Chorus, Solti LPO live London Prom 1982 LPO/BBC issue


When this performance was notified for issue recently, I put a post onto the New Releases thread advertising it. I then sat back and eagerly awaited its arrival. i was in the performance and below I have copied from an ancient thread on conductors where I wrote the following.

'One year at the Edinburgh Festival we did the Missa Solemnis with Solti, went straight down to London and repeated it as a prom. I know he comes in for a lot of stick, but even those who would not have his Wagner as a doorstopper were eating out of his hand. He was not well at the first performance, but throughout the rehearsals he was good humoured. He was exact in what he wanted and asked for and got a Germanic pronunciation of the of the Latin. He shouted all the time, not aggressively, but to clarify what he wanted without stopping. He did not use a baton in piano rehearsals, but did when we got to the orchestral rehearsals. He was on good terms with the orchestra. In the two days between the performances he recovered and we were confronted by a dynamo for the second performance. I have a tape of the Prom and I don’t think the choir ever sounded better, the energy within the first two movements was remarkable, nor did he simply skate over the reflective passages. I maintain he is an across the score conductor as against an up and down the page guy, that is to say, he seems to grip the tempo and pace and accuracy of entries predominantly over the texture, though he certainly did not ignore colour.'

So, did the disc live up to memory and hope? Yes and no. The performance is I think pretty much top drawer in every department. The choir sings gloriously and I am tempted to say I have never heard it better sung. The attacks are ferocious, the lines are well and equally weighted and the choir copes with even the fastest tempi in the molten crucible of Movement 3. They also sing gently and with terrific legato when needed.

The soloists are all excellent, Sotin especially, a deep warm bath of a voice. Donath I felt had a voice one size too small for the soprano part, but sounds just fine with the help of the microphones. Solti's approach is rightly energetic and he allows the reflective music to breathe. The Sanctus has great calm within it.

But.......the sound off this disc is poor. Someone called Laurie Watt is thanked for facilitating the release of this recording. I suspect she owned the source used for the release and that the BBC had not preserved its live transmission. My guess is she recorded it on her mobile cassette recorder. The sound is muddy and compressed, gritty and clogged. So, had the BBC preserved it properly, it might be right up there in the top recommendations. But in all honesty I think the sound is so bad that I could only recommend it to the likes of myself, as a souvenir of a fantastic, exciting evening.

What might have been........

Mike
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Offline knight66

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Re: Beethoven Missa Solemnis
« Reply #202 on: February 16, 2015, 01:41:29 AM »
Recently, in Lisbon, I picked up a bargain Missa for 3€. The names attracted me, Stich-Randall, Rössel-Majdan, Patzak and Frick with Vienna orchestral and choral forces. The conductor I had never heard of, Volkmar Andrae, on looking him up, I see he was Swiss and died in the 1960s. This is a live oerformance, probably a radio recording.

In the main the soloists do well, especially Stich-Randall, though Patzak loses the plot in one of the fast passages. The chorus, as with the Vienna Bohm version, is poorly blended and sounds raw, they also have a lot of problems sticking with the conductor. In fact, I came to the conclusion that the conductor is the problem, as ensemble is often very rocky and the orchestra has some untypical fluffs. I suspect his odd tempi are not well signaled. As the sound quality is also congested, I see no reason to put yourself through this performance, despite the efforts of the excellent soloists.

Mike
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Re: Beethoven Missa Solemnis
« Reply #203 on: February 18, 2015, 04:33:43 AM »
Fascinating read about the 1982 performance; I tried singing in a choir some few years ago, couldn't judge the intervals too well, even with it being Poulenc work I knew well from recordings.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Beethoven Missa Solemnis
« Reply #204 on: February 19, 2015, 05:45:41 AM »
Recently, in Lisbon, I picked up a bargain Missa for 3€. The names attracted me, Stich-Randall, Rössel-Majdan, Patzak and Frick with Vienna orchestral and choral forces. The conductor I had never heard of, Volkmar Andrae, on looking him up, I see he was Swiss and died in the 1960s. This is a live oerformance, probably a radio recording.

In the main the soloists do well, especially Stich-Randall, though Patzak loses the plot in one of the fast passages. The chorus, as with the Vienna Bohm version, is poorly blended and sounds raw, they also have a lot of problems sticking with the conductor. In fact, I came to the conclusion that the conductor is the problem, as ensemble is often very rocky and the orchestra has some untypical fluffs. I suspect his odd tempi are not well signaled. As the sound quality is also congested, I see no reason to put yourself through this performance, despite the efforts of the excellent soloists.

Mike

It is a painful-ish recording to contemplate, but I do appreciate the review, Mike!
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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Beethoven Missa Solemnis
« Reply #205 on: February 19, 2015, 05:54:59 AM »
Recently, in Lisbon, I picked up a bargain Missa for 3€. The names attracted me, Stich-Randall, Rössel-Majdan, Patzak and Frick with Vienna orchestral and choral forces. The conductor I had never heard of, Volkmar Andrae, on looking him up, I see he was Swiss and died in the 1960s. This is a live performance, probably a radio recording.

In the main the soloists do well, especially Stich-Randall, though Patzak loses the plot in one of the fast passages. The chorus, as with the Vienna Bohm version, is poorly blended and sounds raw, they also have a lot of problems sticking with the conductor. In fact, I came to the conclusion that the conductor is the problem, as ensemble is often very rocky and the orchestra has some untypical fluffs. I suspect his odd tempi are not well signaled. As the sound quality is also congested, I see no reason to put yourself through this performance, despite the efforts of the excellent soloists.

Mike

Those Portuguese, they believe in giving a recording every possible chance; probability is high I would have to go there to get it, so I won't. Thanks for the review, amigo. There are performances which even I won't listen!  :o

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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Beethoven Missa Solemnis
« Reply #206 on: February 19, 2015, 05:56:27 AM »
There are performances which even I won't listen!  :o

8)

Good thing I had just swallowed my tea . . . .
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[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Beethoven Missa Solemnis
« Reply #207 on: February 19, 2015, 08:19:49 AM »
Good thing I had just swallowed my tea . . . .

Hyperbole is good for the soul.... :D

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Offline knight66

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Re: Beethoven Missa Solemnis
« Reply #208 on: February 19, 2015, 09:35:53 AM »
Thanks for the review, amigo. There are performances which even I won't listen!  :o

8)

Nice one Gurn, the quest for the grail continues.

Mike
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Beethoven Missa Solemnis
« Reply #209 on: February 19, 2015, 09:39:17 AM »
Nice one Gurn, the quest for the grail continues.

Mike

Wow, and we've only just realized that there is a line not to be crossed!  8)
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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Re: Beethoven Missa Solemnis
« Reply #210 on: February 19, 2015, 09:41:17 AM »
Good thing I had just swallowed my tea . . . .

If only I could say the same about my coffee
Do what I must do, and let what must happen happen.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Beethoven Missa Solemnis
« Reply #211 on: February 19, 2015, 09:42:02 AM »
Happy New Year, Paul! In keeping with the situation . . . .
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline knight66

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Re: Beethoven Missa Solemnis
« Reply #212 on: March 31, 2018, 04:33:33 AM »
There is mention above of looking for the grail, well, here comes a very strong contender. Suzuki

Bach Collegium Japan; Ann-Helen Moen; Roxana Constantinescu; James Gilchrist; Masaaki Suzuki] [Bis: BIS2321] Hybrid SACD, SACD

I am very surprised by the approach. Suzuki has been bathing in Bach for about two decades and I think this is his first Beethoven project, and one of the most tricky ones possible. The orchestra consists of original instruments and the choir is medium sized. I expected something like Herrewgehe’s rather bloodless account, in which the choir don’t break sweat or sound really engaged. This is a complete contrast to that approach. The fast movements are propulsive, muscular, volcanic and have weight not just fleetness. Clearly the text is being explored and highlighted throughout. I do like a more massive sound, but I need to get over myself on that issue. I was completely won over by the performance. The balance between the elements, choir, orchestra, singers is first rate.

In the preludium the violin is played without vibrato and I miss the warm bath of Karajan with Janowitz there, but this is not supposed to sound so luxuriously upholstered and it provides the calm centre within the maelstrom that surrounds it. Levive has an unrivaled closing movement, deeply disturbing. But in this piece no one performance will encompas all the many things I look and listen for. Suzuki has been very careful of the sound from the choir in what might be termed the stressed bits where singers are inclined to get the bit between their teeth and bray the sound to get it as loud as possible. Suzuki gets them to take the pressure off just a little and the result is all the more musical.

The soloists are very fine, especially the soprano who is a new name to me. She is fearless and displays a terrific technique, a feel for the text and has a beautiful voice. The tenor has a somewhat individual voice here. An observation not a criticism. He phrases well and again is alive to the words. The poor alto gets little to do that is noticed, but she does it well. The bass was fine, but did not etch the words on my brain.

This flies right to the top of my ever increasing collection of the piece, well above wither of Gardiner’s discs. This performance has the added commitment that goes beyond sheer professionalism, the singers scale the peaks, the orchestra plays terrifically and the conductor provides a vision.

Mike
« Last Edit: March 31, 2018, 04:38:29 AM by knight66 »
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Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Beethoven Missa Solemnis
« Reply #213 on: March 31, 2018, 08:49:37 PM »
I expected something like Herrewgehe’s rather bloodless account....

Which Herreweghe, Mike? Herreweghe I or II? I have Herreweghe I (on Harmonia Mundi) and am not a fan (despite his prowess in Bach), but I haven't heard II.

Thanks for the Suzuki write-up!
Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Offline knight66

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Re: Beethoven Missa Solemnis
« Reply #214 on: March 31, 2018, 09:41:01 PM »
Which Herreweghe, Mike? Herreweghe I or II? I have Herreweghe I (on Harmonia Mundi) and am not a fan (despite his prowess in Bach), but I haven't heard II.

Thanks for the Suzuki write-up!

The number 1 version. I had forgotten about his second recording, I have no heard it.

Mike
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Offline Que

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Re: Beethoven Missa Solemnis
« Reply #215 on: March 31, 2018, 10:25:04 PM »
There is mention above of looking for the grail, well, here comes a very strong contender. Suzuki


Great review, Mike!  Thanks :)

I'm still looking for that Holy Grail, on period instruments.

This recent issue by Brüggen's old orchestra has also gathered some positive reviews - anyone here heard it?  :)


Q
À chacun son goût.

Offline knight66

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Re: Beethoven Missa Solemnis
« Reply #216 on: March 31, 2018, 11:26:48 PM »
Hi, I don’t know that one Rego. I keep telling myself at 15 or so versions that I don’t need another, but occasionally I succumb. I read a review of the Suzuki which prompted me to listen to the opening on Spotify, I stayed for the full journey and had ordered it well before the finish.

Mike
« Last Edit: March 31, 2018, 11:28:23 PM by knight66 »
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Offline Rod Corkin

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Re: Beethoven Missa Solemnis
« Reply #217 on: June 25, 2018, 12:48:58 PM »
Great review, Mike!  Thanks :)

I'm still looking for that Holy Grail, on period instruments.

This recent issue by Brüggen's old orchestra has also gathered some positive reviews - anyone here heard it?  :)


Q

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Offline Que

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Re: Beethoven Missa Solemnis
« Reply #218 on: June 25, 2018, 01:02:47 PM »
I bought it then heard it.

Goodness gracious me, Rod ?? 

I'm happy to hear you heard it - good job!  :)

Q
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Offline Daverz

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Re: Beethoven Missa Solemnis
« Reply #219 on: June 25, 2018, 02:54:23 PM »
Goodness gracious me, Rod ?? 

I'm happy to hear you heard it - good job!  :)

Q

Hey, it's an accomplishment for some of us to get the discs out of the shrink wrap after a few years....

 

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