As always this enterprising German company issues beautifully recorded CD sets of choice and eclectic music but it has reverted back to its original oratorio and sacred course with this monumental recording of Bach's sublime B minor Mass.
The recording in the wonderful surroundings of the Maulbronn Monastery is nothing less than superb with ideal balance between chorus and orchestra and with the soloists on pretty much top form throughout. I am not swapping my ideal versions of the mass, these being Harnoncourt on Teldec and Klemperer on EMI but this is certainly a version which complements those stalwarts ideally.
Jürgen Budday conducts with extreme sensitivity throughout and his tempi are extremely well judged especially in the drawn out "Kyrie" and the irrepressible energy of the Gloria in excelscis Deo culminating in a Dona nobis pacem of almost spine tingling beauty. The chorus sings with knowledgeable integrity whilst all four soloists contribute in their own special way to the performance as a whole with Ursula Eittinger particularly ravishing.
My only qualms lie with the extremely short booklet notes which are more concerned with performer's biographies. However this is otherwise an extremely viable alternative for this great work in any collection.
Copyright © 2010, Gerald Fenech