Giulini was always a devout interpreter of Beethoven's magnum opus but his EMI studio recording fell slightly short of our hallowed expectations. So it is indeed good to welcome this superbly structured live performance recorded in the hallowed acoustic of St. Paul's with the same forces that were featured on the EMI set. The Kyrie is immediately trenchant and beautifully propulsive whilst the energy of the Gloria is quite magnificent, indeed very similar to Klemperer's roughly contemporaneous set. Giulini' coaxes his soloists to great things especially Zylis-Gara and the inimitable Marga Hofgen who are truly superb all round. You are truly in awe of Beethoven's greatness after the mass dies away into hallowed ethereal nothingness. To cap it all, BBC have added a splendid performance of the Schubert 'Tragic' Symphony recorded in Edinburgh a few weeks after the Mass. It is a splendid performance full of drama and momentum that demonstrates Giulini's affection for the music. It is a pity that he did not record more symphonies from this young genius. However this set, although quite short in timing, is an essential companion to any Giulini collection.
Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech