Mozart: Mass in C minor (FLAC)
Mozart: Mass in C minor (FLAC)

Performer: Klaus Mertens, Collegium Cartusianum, Barbara Schlick, Monika Frimmer, Christoph Pregardien
Orchestra: Kolner Kammerchor
Conductor: Peter Neumann
Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Audio CD
SPARS Code: DDD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC (tracks+cue)
Label: Virgin Veritas
Size: 259 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

# Mass No. 17 for soloists, chorus & orchestra in C minor (fragment, “Great Mass”), K. 427 (K. 417a)
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performed by Cologne Chamber Choir
with Christoph Pregardien, Monika Frimmer, Barbara Schlick, Cartusianum Collegium, Klaus Mertens
Conducted by Peter Neumann

# Kyrie for chorus & orchestra in D minor, K. 341 (K. 368a)
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performed by Cologne Chamber Choir
with Christoph Pregardien, Monika Frimmer, Barbara Schlick, Cartusianum Collegium, Klaus Mertens
Conducted by Peter Neumann

01. Mass in c, KV 427: I. Kyrie
02. Mass in c, KV 427, II. Gloria: Gloria In Excelsis Deo
03. Mass in c, KV 427, II. Gloria: Laudate Te
04. Mass in c, KV 427, II. Gloria: Gratias
05. Mass in c, KV 427, II. Gloria: Domine
06. Mass in c, KV 427, II. Gloria: Qui Tollis
07. Mass in c, KV 427, II. Gloria: Quoniam
08. Mass in c, KV 427, II. Gloria; Jesu Christe – Cum Sancto Spiritu
09. Mass in c, KV 427, III. Credo: Credo In Unum Deum
10. Mass in c, KV 427, III. Credo: Et Incarnatus Est
11. Mass in c, KV 427: IV. Sanctus
12. Mass in c, KV 427: V. Benedictus
13. Kyrie in d, KV 341 (368a)

Heady Experience

The main item on this CD is entitled in German, “Große Messe in c-Moll” (Grand Mass in C Minor), the “grand” being a reference not only to the length of the proposed (but unfinished) work, but also to the forces involved: In November 1989, Peter Neumann brought together well over 80 performers for this recording (made, as with his other Mozart recordings, at the Deutschlandfunk, the former West German national radio station, in Cologne). The result is a heady experience, with massive choral work in up to eight-voice polyphony and an orchestra larger in size than on anything Neumann had produced before in this series: 13 violins, 4 violas, 3 celli, 2 double basses, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 trumpets, 4 horns, 3 trombones plus timpani and organ. Of the four soloists, it is the two sopranos Barbara Schlick and Monika Frimmer who definitely stand in the forefront. Barbara Schlick’s voice soars up and down in grand manner, but I did detect a certain sharpness this time that was not present on her previous Mozart recordings – or was this the fault of the engineers? At any rate, at certain crescendo points I felt she was either a little strained or the microphones were just a fraction too near; listening on headphones was unpleasant, but over loudspeakers everything seemed more in balance. Monika Frimmer has a smaller role to fill but manages splendidly with her rich timbre. The two male soloists, both coryphaei in their particular area, Christoph Prégardien and Klaus Mertens, only appear together and, perhaps because of the weight of the orchestra, are not heard as plainly as they might have been; I love their voices and was just a little disappointed that the engineers did not bring them a step forward. These are, however, minor quibbles, and the overall impression was of a tremendous period-instrument performance with some breathtakingly beautiful passages (including a trio with Barbara Schlick, an oboe and a bassoon that would make anyone’s heart melt!). As an encore there is the lone Kyrie K. 341, which has obviously defied all the musicologists’ attempts at dating but fits quite well with the C Minor Mass (which is here performed in the edition by H. C. Robbins Landon).

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