Anyone familiar with Bruckner, his symphonic architectures reaching for the stars as well as his later Missas from the 1860s, may well be amazed at how deep his Missa Solemnis is still rooted in the solid tradition of Viennese Classicism. In this recording, this rarely heard and recently re-edited and newly published gem is put into the context of the inauguration service of collegiate provost Friedrich Mayr on 14 September 1854 in St. Florian, for which it was written. It is interspersed with the original Proper settings by Robert Führer, Joseph Eybler, and Johann Baptist Gänsbacher. Recorded at the Konzerthaus Berlin in June 2017. A co-produktion with Deutschlandfunk Kultur.
With no slight intended to the other great recordings of the Missa Solemnis in the world, there's this one and then there are all the rest. Truly. Even with the 1940 Toscanini and the 1974 Böhm, this 1965 recording of Otto Klemperer and the Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus embodies everything that's great about the Missa Solemnis.
It's not as bad as it might be, but still, except as a memento of the occasion, there really isn't much reason for Eugene Ormandy's 1967 recording of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis to have been reissued. Columbia's stereo sound was distant and a little tubby and Sony's digital remastering is a little closer but still tubby. The singing is okay but nothing special: Arroyo's is probably the best, but Forrester, and especially Siepi, were showing their vocal age by 1967.
This is exceptional. There are certainly many different valid ways to perform the Missa solemnis, but it's hard to imagine they will surpass this outstanding version…The Royal Concertgebouw is on absolutely top form…As for the soloists, it is hard to recall a Solemnis quartet who blend so well while retaining their mesmeric individuality. (BBC Music Magazine)
La discographie de la musique religieuse de Mozart est dominée par la "Grande messe en ut mineur " et le "Requiem" au point de nous priver d'authentiques chefs-d'oeuvre, dont cette quatrième messe connue sous le nom de "Messe de l'orphelinat" ("Missa Solemnis" KV 139) …
This really was quite a fine recording of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, one of the best in years and easily the best of the early music recordings. The Choeur de la Chapelle Royale et du Collegium Vocale sing with strength and stamina, but also with grace and beauty of tone. The Champs Elysees Orchestra plays with power and precision, but also with unity of ensemble and beauty of tone, a very rare quality in an early music orchestra. And Herreweghe himself is actually an apt interpreter of the work. Not only does he have a knack for bringing out better than the best in his performers, but he actually seems to believe in the spiritual and sublime essence of the work, a very, very rare quality in any conductor these days. The result is a performance which, while it doesn't rival the 1940 Toscanini, the 1965 Klemperer, or the 1974 Böhm, does express the overwhelming sense that the numinous is imminent. Harmonia Mundi's sound is rich and vibrant.- James Leonard
Beethoven's Missa Solemnis was performed on 13 and 14 February, 2010 at the traditional memorial concert to commemorate the bombardement of Dresden during the last weeks of World War II. Under Christian Thielemann, the Staatskapelle Dresden proved itself exeptionally qualified to master this work´s magnificent challenges. Thielemann “conjured up the gigantic cosmos of the Missa with such lightness and grace that its mystery seemed to reveal itself”, wrote the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
"Leonard Bernstein succeeded superbly in conveying his own intellectually ferocious vision of what the Missa solemnis truly signifies. His 1978 Concertgebouw performance is one of the greatest utterances of Bernstein's Indian summer on the Yellow Label." (Classics Today.com)