Saturday, July 2, 2011

Schubert - Mass in E-flat Major D 950 - Abbado, Vienna Philharmonic







This is a magical performance. Recording it live seems to have been a good decision. There is real electricity throughout, while the recorded sound is beautifully full and well balanced. As such, it seems rather incredible that it took as long as it did for large-scale works of Schubert's like this Mass to become seriously well-known, a revelation made all the more apparent by listening to this live recording from November 1986 by the Vienna State Opera Chorus and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, under long-time Viennese favorite Claudio Abbado. Featuring five world-class vocal soloists (Marjana Lipovsek; Jerry Hadley; Karita Mattila; Jorge Antonio Pita; Robert Holl) and recorded at Vienna'sFranz Schubert famed Singverein, the performance on hand shows not only how great a composer Schubert was, but the potential that would have been shown to the world had he not passed on at such an early age. Abbado has a particularly fine feel for the sound of the choral passages. His chorus sings with superlative balances, and their overall sound is warm--if not especially luscious. There is a fine feeling of momentum throughout the performance. At close to an hour in length, it is an immense work on the spiritual level of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis.


flac, scans

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