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CD Review

Franz Joseph Haydn

Chandos 0674

Masses

  • Great Organ Mass Hob. XXII:4
  • Mass in C Major Hob. XXII:8 "Mariazeller Mass"
Susan Gritton, Louise Winter, Mark Padmore, Stephen Varcoe
Collegium Musicum 90/Richard Hickox
Chandos Chaconne CHAN0674 71m DDD
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Richard Hickox comes to an end of his excellent Haydn mass series with this brilliant rendering of two great representations from this genre.

The 'Great Organ Mass' is probably one of the finest masses Haydn ever composed in his earlier period and is replete with passionate choral singing, fine organ flourishes and a meltingly beautiful Benedictus that almost anticipates the Missa Solemnis. My previous encounter with this great work was on Decca L'Oiseau-Lyre and Stephen Preston's equally magnificent Academy of Ancient Music recording which is still my preferred version although Hickox does come close on many occasions and his team of soloists is quite superb with Varcoe particularly outstanding.

In the more compact 'Mariazeller' Mass, Hickox has to contend with another Decca classic, George Guest and the ASMF which is also very good although I do believe that the new version has the upper hand. This has definitely been one of the finest Haydn mass series' in recent years and its full completion definitely deserves plaudits and appreciation.

Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech

Trumpet