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Mozart 250th Anniversary Edition - Complete Sacred Works (Box set) (2005)

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CategoryMusic Date30-06-2010, 17:25

Mozart 250th Anniversary Edition - Complete Sacred Works (Box set) (2005)

Mozart 250th Anniversary Edition - Complete Sacred Works (Box set) (2005) | 5 Gb

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Genre: Classical

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791)
Main Performer: Charlotte Margiono (Soprano); Elisabeth von Magnus (Contralto (Female alto)); Gilles Cachemaille (Bass); Uwe Heilmann (Tenor); Barbara Bonney (Soprano)
Orchestra / Ensemble(s) : Vienna Concentus Musicus Orchestra; (Arnold) Schoenberg Choir; Vienna Hofburgkapella Schola Orchestra

Review :Everyone must know Mozart, so I presume he needs litle introduction. the child genius of the 18th Century is the most prolific composer ever, especially for such a short lived person.
The box set is part of a series produced for the 250th anniversary of Mozart (other box sets include piano concertos, operas etc).
This box set contains every mass, litany, vesper, that he wrote. It can seem a bit daunting, looking at all those discs, and the 3 or 4 works on each one, and wondering which one to put on. start at the beginning and go through them!

The orchestra is the Concentus Musicus, a period ensemble (and one of my favourites) of high calibre. On this occasion, tey are conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, who is quite different when it comes to performances from most other conductors, and you can certainly hear it in the well-executed performances. (for more details on period music - see my review on Haydn's Creation).
The Works:
There are over 3 dozen works here, so I won't mention them all.

The Requiem is quite different to most other recordings I have heard. The Dies Irea (played and imitated in god knows how many films) is taken quite slowly, a change from the usual bash-it-out-as-loud-and-quickly-as-possible approach that other orchestras follow, and the Hostias is very well performed. The Sanctus is played as grandly as ever, whilst the Benedictus is sublime.
Great Mass
The Gloria as to be heard to be believed - i have never heard it performed in the manner performed here. It takes your breath away! The choir literally shout it all out at the top of their voices with particular emphasis on the word "excelsis".

Coronation Mass
The Agnus Dei solo is sung brilliantly by Joan Rodgers. The Gloria and Credo are a bit of a mess though - the choir seem to forget that they are all meant to sing together - too many s-s-s-!
Vesperae solomness de confessore - Magnificat
This starts off at break-neck speed (more so than other recordings), and then, after the "anima meo Dominum", slows to an agonizing snails pace.

Most other pieces do not have anything in particular that makes them stand out from the others. Some works, though, are performed quite sloppily (see above), and seem bland - almost like the orchestra and choir are just playing the notes. And then other pieces are performed with much passion and vigour. I personally cannot stand the overuse of vibrato by some singers - it was not popular in the 18th C, and as teh orchestra is period, I fail to see why singers do not adopt practices used at the time like the rest of the orchestra does.
Quite a few of the smaller works (the misas for example) have the traditional, but no often heard plainsong or Gregorian chant at the begining of a piece of music. It would have been preferable to have these as single tracks (as most other record labels do), as they are not central to the main piece of music, and it can be a pain fast-forwarding to the main piece if you do not want to listen to it. The whole box set seems to be a mixed bag of played well and not so well, too fast and too slow, to loud and too quiet.

Overall, there is nothing for me to recommend this above any other CD or boxset except that it is a complete set.
A couple of Mozart's religious works have been recorded to death (I specifically refer to the Requiem!), but quite a few don't get a look in, and recordings can be difficult to find. If, like me, you already have am extensive collection, then you may be in two minds to buy this. Ther were only about a dozen or so works that I did not have, and it can be annoying having to "duplicate" recordings in a collection, but it is worth it to get the other collections.
As with most box sets (and period pieces), a booklet is included with some good information. The booklet also contains photos and libretto (handy if you want to brush up on foreign languages!)
Perhaps my view is tainted due to my other CDs of the same works (which I find preferable to this set), but a new listener would probably disagree with me - I think I would disagree with myself too if I had not heard these works before!


Missa in C major K66, Dominicusmesse

Vesperae solemnes de Dominica, K321

Mass in C major, K317 'Coronation Mass'

Vesperae solemnes de confessore in C, K339

Mass in C minor, K427 'Great'

Missa Brevis in G major K49

Missa Brevis in D minor K65

Missa Brevis in D major K194

Missa Brevis in C major, K220 'Spatzenmesse'

Missa Solemnis in C minor K139, Waisenhausmesse

Exsultate, jubilate, K165

Missa Brevis in G major K140

Missa Brevis in F major K192

Missa Longa in C major K262

Mass in C major, K257 'Credo-Messe'

Litaniae de venerabili altaris sacramento, K243

Mass in C major, K167 'Trinity'

Mass in C major, K258 'Spaurmesse'

Kyrie in G, K89

Misericordias Domini - Offertory, K222

Missa Brevis in C major K259, Orgelsolo Messe

Grabmusik KV 42

Kyrie, K33

Veni Sancte Spiritus, K47

Scande coeli limina, K34

Hosanna, K223

Kyrie, K322

Kyrie, K323

Regina coeli in B flat, K127

Miserere in A minor, K85

Quaerite primum regnum Dei KV 86 (73v)

Kyrie, K90

Tantum ergo, K142

Ave verum corpus, K618

Venite Populi, KV280

Regina coeli in C, K108

Sancta Maria, mater Dei, K273

Sub tuum praesidium, K198

Tantum ergo, K197

Litaniae Lauretane, K109

Benedictus sit Deus, K117

Inter natos mulierum - Offertory, K72

Alma Dei creatoris, K277

Ergo interest... Quaere superna, K143

Te Deum laudamus, K141

Missa Solemnis in C major, K337

Litaniae de venerabili altaris Sacramento, K125

Regina coeli K276

Kyrie in D minor, K341

Dixit and Magnificat, K. 193

Missa Brevis in B flat major K275

Litaniae Lauretanae, K195

Requiem in D minor, K626



No Pass...


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