Author Topic: Haydn's Masses  (Read 24752 times)

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Offline André

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Re: Haydn's Masses
« Reply #60 on: June 23, 2017, 05:22:31 PM »
Certainly a pickup orchestra of local professionals. The original LP cover:


Offline André

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Re: Haydn's Masses
« Reply #61 on: June 23, 2017, 05:27:53 PM »

Offline Mahlerian

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Re: Haydn's Masses
« Reply #62 on: June 23, 2017, 06:54:01 PM »
The power of Google!
Search for Bernstein and Nixon, and lo!

http://people.howstuffworks.com/leonard-bernstein-richard-nixon-antiinaugural-concert-1973.htm

Fascinating stuff.  I've known that recording for a few years now, but nothing about its provenance.  Thanks for looking it up!
"l do not consider my music as atonal, but rather as non-tonal. I feel the unity of all keys. Atonal music by modern composers admits of no key at all, no feeling of any definite center." - Arnold Schoenberg

Offline Daverz

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Re: Haydn's Masses
« Reply #63 on: June 23, 2017, 07:00:34 PM »



The Theresienmesse in this set is beautiful.

Offline André

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Re: Haydn's Masses
« Reply #64 on: July 01, 2017, 11:04:10 AM »


The Cäecilienmesse, or Missa Sanctae Caecilie, or St Cecilia Mass, aka Missa Cellensis # 1 is Haydn's most elaborate setting of the catholic mass. It is my favourite Haydn Mass, although the Nelson Messeruns it very close.

This interpretation is also my favourite. It is a bit on the slow side in terms of timings (73 minutes vs most others' average of 67 minutes). It is anything but slow in feeling, though. It floats and breathes whereas others sound hurried and earthbound. Soloists are superb, ideal in fact in the case of the tenor and bass. Superb contribution from the children's chorus. The conducting is ideally in sync with the spiritual and aesthetic aspects of this typical austrian late baroque music. Excellent sound, vintage 1969.

Also available as a 2 disc budget set:


Offline André

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Re: Haydn's Masses
« Reply #65 on: July 08, 2017, 10:50:16 AM »


This set presents 3 masses Haydn composed at different times over his some 40 years as the Esterhazy household Music Master. They also happen to represent different genres of mass setting: the sprawling cantata-mass, the liturgic/symphonic synthesis perfected to an unprecedented degree by Haydn and the much more compact missa brevis in which different lines of the Gloria and Credo are sung at the same time (the Gloria is over in less than a minute!).

The first Missa Cellensis dates from 1768. There is a later mass by the same name. Both were composed to be performed at the Mariazeller Basilica, site of Austria's most important catholic pilgrimage (picture below). It was thought to be a mass composed in honour of St Cecilia, patron saint of musicians, but research has shown otherwise: the back cover of this 1959 Jochum performance refers to the work as the Cäcilien-Messe, Missa Sanctae Caeciliae and Cecilia Mass. The album notes however dispel that notion and correctly state that this designation is now obsolete.



There are a dozen version of this beautiful work. Jochum's is a perfect example of a now outdated way to perform church music. There are basically 2 shades of dynamics: p and f/ff. No subtle nuances here, just a desire to present the music in a straightforward and very devotional manner. The long trill on the violin ritornello near the end of the Kyrie is presented twice in the same way. Compare with Gerhard Wilhelm's subtle shading (first time mf, then p) in the 1969 EMI recording, creating a beautiful echo effect. It's all a bit unsubtle under Jochum. But this is Cadillac music making, so there's a place for his classic interpretation. Soloists have very important and demanding parts, each requiring a soloist of the first order. Stader, Höffgen and Greindl are very operatic in style, displaying big, penetrating, boomy voices. Tenor Richard Holm has both the perfect voice and style and his is the performance I prefer. On the EMI set the singers are even better (esp. the inimitable Kurt Equiluz and Siegmund Nimsgern). Also, the chorus (with children) is more subtle yet no less expressive than the big Munich outfit. The recording too is more modern, in beautifully deep and transparent sound. The Wilhelm is the standard I judge others by (I know the Kubelik, Preston, Hickox and Rowicki).

Kubelik conducts the same Munich forces (BRSO and Chorus) in the thrilling Paukenmesse. The result is fresher, more direct, more dramatic too, as befits the 'new' genre Haydn was perfecting (composed in 1796, this is the 2nd of his series of masses composed in honour of Princess Maria Hermenegild's Name Day). Haydn composed 'symphonic movements' that were tailored to the liturgic text. The Gloria in these masses is about 8-11 minutes long, compared to 30-32 in the 1768 cantata-mass where every line becomes an aria or chorus. The economy of dramatic means in no way reduces the character and impact of these works. The Paukenmesse too has very important solo parts, taken here by excellent soloists. Soprano Elsie Morison (Mrs. Kubelik) has a light, not very penetrating voice, but she sings securely. Bass Karl-Christian Kohn is formidable in the profundo part of the Agnus Dei. One of the very best performances of the work, with an excellent presence of the organ.

The Missa brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo (late 1770s) is also known as the Little Organ Mass (there is of course a "Great Organ Mass"). The title is for the concertante role of the organ in the Benedictus. Again, the orchestra is that of the Bayerischen Rundfunk, but not the choir: we are treated - quite rightly - to the delights of a boys' choir (the Regensburger Domspatzen) along with the Domchor. I have never seen the name of conductor Theobald Schrems before, but he navigates the waters superbly, letting us hear clearly every contrapuntal line yet imparting a beautiful flow to the proceedings. This modest mass is perfectly presented here. I didn't expect to find much in terms of musical sustenance, but I was wrong.


« Last Edit: July 08, 2017, 10:58:06 AM by André »