Beethoven Mass in C Major
Munich Bach Choir & Orchestra/Karl Richter Gundula Janowitz, Soprano · Julia Hamari, Alto Horst R. Laubenthal, Tenor · Ernst Gerold Schramm, Bass Organ: Elmar Schloter
"The Sanctus seems to descend out of some rare ether long distilled from earthly considerations, although the tympani part keeps us earthbound. The contrapuntal "Pleni sunt coeli et terra" takes us through the marriage of heaven and earth, the organ punctuating wonderfully colossal chords from the upper-register choristers. Janowtiz and Hamari shine in the Benedictus, with its several hints at Mozart's Cosi fan tutte. Lovely flute and string windings among the vocal elements. The vocal quartet at the Benedictus provides a devout intimacy of effect. Lovely vocal separation at the Hosanna in excelesis, punctuated by large horn, string, and organ chords. The C Minor rumblings that open the Agnus Dei convey a darkness of spirit and fretfulness over the state of our world. Fascinating color effects as the woodwinds and strings intertwine with the pleas for an end to human suffering. The vocal virtuosity at "dona nobis pacem" proves aerially operatic, and the subsequent move to C Major renews our faith in our collective will to survival."
Gary Lemco/Audiophile Audition
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