Mozart’s C-Minor Mass
What is the most beautiful choral work by Mozart? The Requiem? Well, not for me. My favorite is the Great Mass in c-minor K 427.
I had already mentioned it in in my Top 10 music that gives me goose bumps post some time ago.
The music was apparently written for his wife, Constanze, and she also sang the “Et incarnatus est” at the premiere of this work.
For years, my go-to version was also my first, Philippe Herreweghe (yes, I know, he pops up in every second post recently) on Harmonia Mundi, an older recording from 1992, which I bought just after it came out.
I was lucky, this version is absolutely great and still very much worth getting.
However, you should always have more than one version of masterpieces like this, therefore, I recently stumbled upon this 2006 version:
Mozart: Mass in C – Louis Langrée – Le Concert d’Astrée (Erato 2006)
Le Concert d’Astrée is an excellent Baroque ensemble and usually lead by Emmanuelle Haïm. They play with their usual verve and energy, and bring their historically informed influence, which gives the recording a nice clean sound.
Like the requiem, the mass was never finished. It is unclear why. This version was completed by the conductor, Louis Langrée, and what he did is certainly interesting to hear. This is my only album in my collection by this conductor, who’s recently been appointed in Cincinnati.
My preferred part of the entire work is the Domine Deus, how the two female voices interact here is just magical. And when you get the beautiful voices of the great Nathalie Dessay and Véronique Gens, it gets even better. Both together are really the key reason to get this album.
This recording get’s pretty close to my Herreweghe reference version and is highly recommended.
My rating: 4 stars
You can find the Langrée version here (Qobuz) and Herreweghe here (Qobuz as well)
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