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CD Review

Giacomo Puccini

Messa di Gloria

Willi Stein, tenor
Thomas Pfeiffer, baritone
Kantorei Maulbronn
Members of the SWR-Symphonie Orchester Baden Baden & Freiburg/Jürgen Budday
K&K Verlagsanstalt KUK75 60m DDD
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This enterprising German label has made quite a name for itself in the production of high quality recordings of choral, chamber and organ repertoire emanating from the wonderful source of the Maulbronn Monastery, Maulbronn in rural Saxony.

This latest issue features a 2001 taping of Puccini's early Messa di Gloria which does come across in stunning sound although the interpretation is not really a patch on other finer recordings of the work especially the one on Erato with Michel Corboz and his Gulbenkian Orchestra based in Portugal. However, Willi Stein is a fine tenor and sings with evident vigour although his accompanying baritone is rather disappointing. Otherwise this is a studious, run of the mill interpretation focusing more on sound effects than true quality. Puccini devotees are better served elsewhere.

Copyright © 2008, Gerald Fenech