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Hickox: Hummel – Mass in D minor, Salve Regina (24/96 FLAC)

Hickox: Hummel - Mass in D minor, Salve Regina (24/96 FLAC)
Hickox: Hummel – Mass in D minor, Salve Regina (24/96 FLAC)


Composer: Johann Nepomuk Hummel
Performer: Susan Gritton, Mark Padmore, Stephen Varcoe, Pamela Helen Stephen
Orchestra: Collegium Musicum 90
Conductor: Richard Hickox
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Chandos
Catalogue: CHAN0724
Release: 2005
Size: 981 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Mass in D minor
01. Kyrie
02. Gloria: Gloria in excelsis Deo
03. Gloria: Qui tollis peccata mundi
04. Gloria: Cum Sancto Spiritu
05. Credo: Credo in unum Deum
06. Credo: Et incarnatus est
07. Credo: Et resurrexit
08. Credo: Et exspecto
09. Sanctus
10. Benedictus
11. Agnus Dei: Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi
12. Agnus Dei: Dona nobis pacem

13. Salve Regina

The D minor Mass of 1805 was the second of five that Hummel wrote for Prince Esterházy, carrying on from Haydn’s late masterpieces. D minor was the key chosen by Haydn for his Nelson Mass seven years earlier but Hummel’s opening could hardly be more different. If its persistent syncopations on repeated notes at the start suggest a curious hesitancy, one can look to Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 20 as a direct inspiration; this Kyrie develops from hesitancy into blazing confidence.

Throughout, Hummel seems intent on taking the listener by surprise: the Gloria emerges in a positive D major on a bold unison motif using the notes of the common chord but develops quickly into elaborate counterpoint; the Credo starts lyrically, the opposite of a positive affirmation of belief, though that is developed as the movement progresses. Hummel intended to write a thoughtful rather than a sharply dramatic setting, with the soloists generally treated as a corporate team set against the full choir: the tenor solo for ‘Et incarnatus est’, sung with honeyed tone by Mark Padmore, is a striking exception. The brief Sanctus is positive with military overtones; the Benedictus in triple time starts with the soloists alone; while the Agnus Dei finally returns us to D minor before the triumphant setting of ‘Dona nobis pacem’.

The Salve regina of 1809, the year Haydn died, may have been written for a memorial event to Hummel’s great predecessor, but it is anything but elegiac in its operatic style with elaborate coloratura for the soprano soloist, here glowingly sung by Susan Gritton. Richard Hickox again proves an ideal interpreter, drawing superb playing and singing.

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