Masses Nos. 5 and 8
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|1. Mass in E flat major: Kyrie|
|2. Mass in E flat major: Gloria: Gloria in exclesis Deo|
|3. Mass in E flat major: Gloria: Gratias agimus tibi|
|4. Mass in E flat major: Gloria: Quoniam tu solas Sanctus|
|5. Mass in E flat major: Credo: Credo in unum Deum|
|6. Mass in E flat major: Credo: Et incarnatus est|
|7. Mass in E flat major: Credo: Et resurrexit|
|8. Mass in E flat major: Sanctus|
|9. Mass in E flat major: Benedictus|
|10. Mass in E flat major: Agnus Dei|
|11. Mass in C major: Kyrie|
|12. Mass in C major: Gloria: Gloria in exclesis Deo|
|13. Mass in C major: Gloria: Gratias agimus tibi|
|14. Mass in C major: Gloria: Quoniam tu solas Sanctus|
|15. Mass in C major: Credo: credo in unum Deum|
|16. Mass in C major: Credo: Et incarnatus est|
|17. Mass in C major: Credo: Et resurrexit|
|18. Mass in C major: Sanctus|
|19. Mass in C major: Benedictus|
|20. Mass in C major: Agnus Dei|
Throughout his remarkable survey of Haydns Masses, Richard Hickox has never been afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve, and nowhere more delightfully so than in this coupling of the Grosse Orgelmesse ("Great Organ Mass") and the Missa Cellensis. Combining the best of period-instrument practices with an unashamed romanticism, Hickox and his experienced team elicit all the meditative warmth from the Organ Mass, one of the more introspective of Haydns settings in the unusual key of E flat. Shorn of celebratory fanfares, it is the interplay of chorus, cor anglais (substituting for oboes) and organ in the Gratias, Sanctus and Agnus Dei that define the works meditative nature; and when the organ breaks free of its continuo role in the Benedictus, its plangent timbre is both surprising and moving.
A more traditional Mass is Haydns second setting of the Missa Cellensis (1782), with its grounding in the bright tonality of C major and its glorifying trumpets and timpani. Yet this sophisticated and highly polished composition is a work of shifting moods, too, with Mozartian chromaticisms in the Et incarnatus and an operatic Benedictus (as the booklet notes, the music here is adapted from Il mondo della luna). Throughout both works, Hickoxs warm-hearted readings are matched by ever-sympathetic Chandos recording. Taken as a whole this revelatory series firmly establishes Haydns Masses as one of the greatest glories of the Classical repertoire.--Mark Walker
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This is not to say that the Grosse Orgelmesse is not an accomplished and endearing work in its own right. But it's probably safe to say that if Haydn had written no masses after the Kleine Orgelmesse of 1778, he would not be known as an important composer of church music. The most prominent feature of these two organ masses, as the name implies, is the part for obligato organ. In the present recording, Ian Watson plays the organ with refinement, and the vocal soloists turn in equally polished performances of the undemanding solo music. Collegium Musicum 90 plays with such tonal beauty that you forget it is an authentic-instruments orchestra (listen to those horns in the Sanctus). The chorus is equally fine.
Still, the really good stuff here is the striking Missa Cellensis in Haydn's best C-major celebatory vein, with prominent parts for trumpets and drums. Maybe the musical content isn't as memorable as in the late masses--there's a bit of meandering and repetitiousness in the Gratias agimus tibi, and the final Dona nobis is clipped, without the quality of grand peroration we get in the great works--but on the other hand, the opening Kyrie is a well-wrought sonata movement in the manner of the late masses, and the thrilling Gloria sounds like it might be a study for the Gloria of the great Paukenmesse of 1796. So the Missa Cellensis No. 2 is a Haydn mass to know and cherish, especially in as fine a performance and recording as we have here. The spirit of celebration is perfectly captured by Hickox's forces, and again the singing and playing are beyond cavil. A beautifully detailed yet airy recording adds more luster to the production. I'm happy!