Magazine article Gramophone

Bruckner: Mass No 3 (1893 Edition)

Magazine article Gramophone

Bruckner: Mass No 3 (1893 Edition)

Article excerpt

Bruckner [G] Mass No 3 (1893 edition) (a). Psalm 146 (a). Improvisation Sketches, Bad Ischl' (compl Erwin Horn) (b). Andante in D minor (b). Postlude in D minor (b). Prelude and Fugue in C minor (b). Fugue in D minor (b). 'Perger' Prelude in C minor (b) (a) Ania Vegry sop "Franziska Gottwald contr (a) Clemens Bieber ten (a) Timo Riihonen bass (a) Munich Philharmonic Choir; Philharmonie Festiva / Gerd Schaller (b) org Profil (F)(2) PH16034 (117' * DDD * T) (a) Recorded live on September 6,2015 and (b) played on the organ of Ebrach Abbey, Bavaria

Bruckner Symphony No 9 (1894 original version) (a). Mass No 3 (1893 edition) (b) (b) Ruth Ziesak sop (b) Janina Baechle contr (b) Benjamin Bruns ten (b) Gunther Groissbock bass (b) Vienna Singakademie; ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra / Cornelius Meister Capriccio (B)(2) C5247 (124' * DDD * T) Recorded live at the Konzerthaus, Vienna, (a) April 26,2013, (b) June 23,2015

The seemingly endless flow of Bruckner symphony releases makes it easy to forget that some of the composer's most inspired music is found in his liturgical works. Here are two recordings of the Mass No 3 to help redress that balance. Of these, the performance by Gerd Schaller is quite exceptional, making a superb pendant to his recently completed cycle of the symphonies. The orchestral opening of the Kyrie immediately catches the ear with its depth of expression and seriousness of purpose, and the performance benefits throughout from the commitment and radiance of the choral singing. Schaller's tempo for the Gloria is slightly slower than usual but the result has a Klemperer-like weight and impact, and the performance of the Benedictus, a movement which anticipates the great symphonic adagios to come, is ineffably moving. All four vocal soloists are on superlative form and the performances of the various instrumental solos, notably violin and viola in the Credo and oboe at the close of the Agnus Dei, leave nothing to be desired. The recording is as excellent as the performance.

Bruckner's reputation as a composer rests almost exclusively on the series of mature works that followed the completion of his studies with Otto Kitzler in 1863 at the age of 39. However, a considerable number of works exist from before this time, including Psalm 146, a 30-minute piece for soloists, double choir and orchestra that dates from no later than 1858. …

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