Related Links

Recommended Links

Give the Composers Timeline Poster



Site News

What's New for
July/August 2014?

Site Search

Follow us on
Facebook    Twitter

Affiliates

In association with
Amazon
Amazon UKAmazon GermanyAmazon CanadaAmazon FranceAmazon Japan

ArkivMusic
CD Universe

HBDirect

JPC

ArkivMusic

Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale

CD Review

Egon Wellesz

Nimbus 5852

Choral Music

  • Mass in F Major, Op. 51
  • Missa Brevis, Op. 89
  • I Sing of a Maiden
  • Offertorium in Ascensione Domini
  • To Sleep, Op. 94
Christ Church Cathedral Choir/Stephen Darlington
Nimbus NI5852 56m
Find it at AmazonFind it at Amazon UKFind it at Amazon GermanyFind it at Amazon CanadaFind it at Amazon FranceFind it at Amazon JapanOrder Now from ArkivMusic.comFind it at CD Universe Find it at HBDirect Find it at JPC

Egon Wellesz (1885-1974) was born in Vienna to a well-to-do family. His parents' encouragement and Mahler's conducting genius inspired the young man to embark on a musical career which was highly productive and appreciated during his lifetime, but since his demise his music has taken a downward trend. Although a pupil of Schoenberg and classed with Berg and Webern, he was one of the first members of the so-called Second Viennese School to forge an independent path. His compositions include practically all genres, but his outstanding achievements are in the choral field, becoming a renowned professor in the music of early Christianity, Byzantine church music, and Gregorian Chant.

A Catholic convert from Judaism, Wellesz composed a significant amount of sacred music, including five masses, two of which – the first and the last – feature on this CD. The Mass in F minor for chorus and organ is his first setting and dates from 1934. Although entirely tonal, the piece has a wide harmonic range which demonstrates Wellesz's skill in portraying the different human emotions with great mastery, and although far removed from Bruckner's great F Minor Mass, it does seem to have a certain majestic architectural quality. The 1963 Missa Brevis is much shorter and simpler, but its spiritual impact, although more succinct and compact, is nonetheless effective. Three other short pieces complete a programme replete with uplifting ideas and surprisingly mature choral writing.

This is a timely issue in excellent sound and notes that should enhance immensely Wellesz's reputation and put his music at the fingertips of a wider public.

Copyright © 2010, Gerald Fenech.

Trumpet