The occasionally aired masses by that great doyen of symphonists Anton Bruckner are unjustly neglected as they are full of sublime touches by this man of God. Hyperion already have an excellent recording of the second Mass scored unusually for wind instruments with Matthew Best conducting the Corydon Singers but that must now yield to this resplendent reading which certainly is my prime recommendation and will probably remain so for years to come.
Layton and Polyphony certainly know how to pace this music and they bring an ethereal eeriness to proceedings especially in the beautifully scored Gloria and also the Benedictus with flutes and oboes particularly prominent. The choral singing is nothing short of astounding and this is also in fine evidence in the shorter works especially the final two pieces for four part unaccompanied choir.
One really almost deigns to write anything about this disc such is the utter perfection of proceedings throughout. For those who do not yet have this mass in their collection, this is certainly the disc to have. Let us hoe that we will get the other two masses and more choral music from Bruckner emanating from this splendid source.
Copyright © 2008, Gerald Fenech