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Mozart - Great Mass in C minor
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Liste des titres
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Description du produit
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART Messe in c-moll KV 427 "Grosse Messe" 1 Kyrie (Edited Maunder) Messe in c-moll KV 427 "Grosse Messe" (Edited Maunder) 2 Gloria in excelsis Deo (Gloria) 3 Laudamus Te (Gloria) 4 Gratias agimus (Gloria) 5 Domine Deus (Gloria) 6 Qui tollis (Gloria) 7 Quoniam tu solus (Gloria) 8 Jesu Christe (Gloria) 9 Cum Sanctu Spiritu (Gloria) 10 Credo in unum Deum (Credo) 11 Et incarnatus est (Credo) Messe in c-moll KV 427 "Grosse Messe" 12 Sanctus (Edited Maunder) 13 Benedictus (Edited Maunder) JOSEPH HAYDN Scena di Berenice 'Berenice, che fai?' Hob XXIVa:10 14 Edited by H.C.Robbins Landon LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN 15 Ah perfido!, Op.65 Camilla Tilling Sopran Gabrieli Consort & Players Kammerensemble Neal Davies Tenor Sarah Connolly Sopran Timothy Robinson Tenor Paul McCreesh Dirigent
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I came to grips with this mass while driving in Michigan's Upper Peninsula in 1978 and playing Colin Davis's recording in my 1977 Pontiac Bonneville equipped with an AM-FM-Cassette-CB (citizens band radio) which, let me tell you, was all the rage in the late 1970s! The sound system was pretty good, hiss and all, and it gave me an up close perspective on the music. Since then I've emotionally compared every recording of the music to Davis's, which was a watershed for me.
I would characterize McCreesh's approach to the score as more of a toe-tapper than a hummer and being heavily accented, even driven. This is most apparent in the choral sections, especially the closing Sanctus and Benedictus. In addition, McCreesh closes the Credo's "descendit de coelis" pages with heavy accents that end with timpani slams.
Meanwhile, this score -- written by Mozart with his then new bride, a soprano, in mind -- gives the women a chance to show their wares and compete with the greatest sopranos of the recording era. Connolley sings the "Laudamus te" where she is very good. Close miking gives you every opportunity to hear her pyrotechnics and excellent breath control.
Tilling sings the more famous "Et incarnatus est", one of Mozart's greatest coloratura soloes taht finds a place on most sopranoes' commercial CDs. Like Connolley before her, Tilling is miked closely and makes the most of her opportunity, singing with passion, pitch, clarity and expression. Her closing quartet with the flute, oboe and bassoon soloists is a highlight of the performance. The ladies again do very well in the "Dominus Deus" of the Gloria.
In fact, everyone does well on this CD. Outside an occasioonal wan soprano entry, the chorus is excellent from beginning to end with outstanding diction, enunciation and Latin. The orchestra plays well and organist Tim Roberts gives a nice closing touch at the end of the Kyrie and in other sections where his instrument can be heard.
And the recording, while not SACD, is state of the art. Recorded in Walthamstow Town Hall in November 2004, the DDD recording gives a sound field that is deep, resonant, clear and precise. A pair of dramatic scenes (mini-operas) by Haydn and Beethoven (Ah! Perfido) round out a well-filled CD.
The notes focus on the incomplete nature of the mass, given that it was finished without an Agnus Dei section, and discuss the history of the two scenes. The one by Haydn was written and premiered during his London trip in 1795 and first appeared on a concert with two selections from an opera, the "Military" symphony, and the premeire of the composer's "London" symphony.
"If there was one concert I would like to have been at in a previous life, this is the one!" McCreesh says in the notes. That's probably not going to happen but you are blessed by being able to hear this concert anytime you want on your home, office or car music system.
I think this performance is a step up from the one I've been listening to for a number of years, a Decca recording led by Christopher Hogwood and featuring the late Arleen Auger and Lynne Dawson in the female roles. This one is better played, more dramatic, and certainly sounds better. It would be a good addition to your collection, too.
While I cherish his recording of Victoria's Requiem, McCreesh's performance of Mozart's Mass in C Minor is another matter. To my ears, it's execrable.
This is the most subjective of comments but isn't this supposed to be a Mass - a convergence of God and Man? I know it is increasingly anachronistic to make such statements in our day and age (I am all for sophisticated atheism and agnosticism - hello Russell's Teapot - not the cheaper variety in either instance) but dammit: a performance which aspires to be "historically informed" should at least attempt to mirror the mindset of the original participants, let alone that of the composer-god. This performance of K 427 - ever so predictably - predicates a dynamic where Ronald McDonald is Pontifex Maximus, cosmically enthroned with the keys of the kingdom. Not once does it attempt to "fall upwards".
Have a listen. Pinpoint the penitence in the Kyrie where "the just man is barely safe"! Where is the cosmic joy in the Gloria (which is not to be equated with mere loudness)? As I hear it, indifference greets the Lamb of God in the Qui Tollis - and Veronica, if you're reading, Christmas does not exist per se: as performed here (in the Et Incarnatus est), it's been secularised. Rejoice in the shopping-mall!
More evidence that McCreesh is grounded on Planet Secular comes with the bonus items; the Scena di Berenice and Ah Perfido! They're both cut from the same cloth as the Mass.
In my lexicon, the Gabrieli Consort is unlikely to feature as a byword for excellence. Karajan once said that when the big moments come, a great orchestra will always find that little bit extra. What is one of say of a makeshift ensemble which becomes scrawnier at such times? Listen to the climax of the Kyrie once the soprano closes: it's an Abrahamic moment where one and all ask the Almighty to save the city on account of the one good man. Not here: it sounds like an advertisement for cat-food. Yes indeed, what a joy it is to hear the vibrato-less twang of this mighty ensemble! Praise the redundant sky-deity for small mercies: clipped phrasing is sparse on the ground.
While Tilling and Connelley sing well enough, is either of them a major talent? Memories of the great Cotrubas, supported ably by a singer called . . . now what's her name again . . . that's right, Kiri Te Kanawa, are not effaced (Mozart: Mass in C Minor).
I never thought I would long for Jeggy with such intensity: his brisk efficiency aside, at least he is semi-alive to the numinosity of this miraculous score. If performances of this mettle presage the future, be they historically informed or otherwise, I abjure it.