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Beethoven: Missa Solemnis /La Chapelle Royale · Orchestre des Champs Elysées · Herreweghe

Philippe Herreweghe Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £17.95
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Product details

  • Audio CD (31 Jan 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi
  • ASIN: B0000007AF
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 340,064 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Missa Solemnis, D Major: Kyrie - Beethoven
2. Missa Solemnis, D Major: Gloria - Beethoven
3. Missa Solemnis, D Major: Credo - Beethoven
4. Missa Solemnis, D Major: Sanctus - Beethoven
5. Missa Solemnis, D Major: Benedictus - Beethoven
6. Missa Solemnis, D Major: Agnus Dei - Beethoven
Disc: 2
1. Messe en ut mineur, K.427: Qui tollis
2. Elias, Oratorio, Op. 70: Hymne 'Hor mein Bitten, Herr'
3. Elias, Oratorio, Op. 70: Overture
4. Elias, Oratorio, Op. 70: Duo avec choeur
5. Equale No. 1 Pour Trois Trombones: Equale No. 1
6. Ave Maria
7. Messe De Requiem, Op. 48: Agnus Dei
8. Nuits D'Ete, Op. 7: Le Spectre de la Rose
9. Das Lied von der Erde: Von Der Schonheit
10. Pierrot Lunaire, Op. 21: Serenade
See all 14 tracks on this disc

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning CD 3 Feb 2004
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This CD is a gem. It's a one off. A freak. If you plan on owning one copy of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, make it this one.
For those unfamiliar with this work, it is a Mass, written for a Coronation in Church. Beethoven took too long to finish it and the dead line was missed. In other words, Beethoven refused to compromise and crafted away for about 5 years.
Being a Mass, it is a choral piece with an orchestral backing. If you like this sort of thing, you will adore the Missa Solemnis. If you like the finale to Beethoven's Ninth, you will like the Missa Solemnis. If you don't, you may be converted by this piece, but perhaps not.
The problem with the Missa Solemnis is that few cherish it as a church choral piece. Other versions are too operatic, too orchestral or a combination of both. Herreweghe has grasped this point like no other conductor and has produced a choral inspired effort. The sleeve notes suggest that Beethoven always believed that a Mass was first and foremost a choral piece and that he grew disillusioned with the Italian operatic style that was becoming fashionable.
The Kyrie that begins the piece at first sounds a tad slow compared to some versions I've listened to. Then the voices come in and you understand why. The voices are stunning and it's clear that Herreweghe is giving them space to breathe. Don't let this fool you. When drama is called for, it's delivered in full, but never at the expense of anything else. In fact, the whole recording isn't at the expense of any of the soloists, choir or orchestra. Everything fits perfectly.
Each voice is crystal clear. Even when one dominates, others in the background are clearly discernible. Nothing gets in the way of anything else.
This is a stunning recording, freakishly so.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last an *innocent* conductor 18 Aug 2011
Format:Audio CD
I bought this CD due to the recommendations below. I too have a number of recordings of the Missa Solemnis, and was brought up with the Klemperer and Karajan recordings. But I have always felt that the grandeaur of the Klemperer is awesome in range and magnitude - but it was not for the person being at a mass in church. The Mass itself was drowned in the magnitude.

Likewise with Karajan - pure beauty - but no Mass as Mass.

I am not a religious person myself, but I appreciate the deep inspiration religion have on all sorts of artists. What was Beethovens answer to the deep questions ?

My favorite conductor on the Beethoven symphonies is Furtwängler, because he, in my humble opinion and ears, are able to let the *innocence* in Beethoven appear in the music. Unfortunately I have never heard a recording of the Missa Solemnis by Furtwängler.

And alas ! Herreweghe knows how to let the *innocence* in the Mass shine through ( IMHO ). Exactly that is why I really love this recording. No grandeur adressed to the music-listener, but the grandeur of the Mass, as a Mass.

I wholehearted recommend the Herreweghe recording as one of the rare *innocent* recordings of this Mass.

And yes - this recording is very beautiful and well recorded as well :-)
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rich but ponderous 24 Jan 2013
Format:MP3 Download|Verified Purchase
This performance is grand and rich as befits the subject but personally I much prefer the subtlety of John Eliot Gardener's interpretation.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars understanding of Beethoven 22 Nov 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Although Gardiner's period performance is crystal-sharp, Herreweghe is able to blend the simplicity of period instruments with a deeper understanding of Beethoven's spirituality which is, on the whole, more convincing. At the same time, he is likewise able to bring out the full richness of Beethoven's counterpoint, particularly in the Kyrie and the Credo. His closing fugue ("Et vitam venturi saeculi") is among the best I've heard (and one of the fastest!).
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A most beautiful performance 30 April 1999
By J. Luis Juarez Echenique - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Beethoven' s greatest work (according to the composer himself), has had many good recordings. But this new one from the great Belgian conductor Philippe Herreweghe, most deffinitely demands to be heard. The most striking thing about this recording, is how beautiful it sounds. Those who think period instruments make an ugly sound should hear this recording to eat their words. A beauty.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the top choices, a HIP triumph 1 Mar 2010
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Between them, Philippe Herreweghe and Rene Jacobs have released some recordings that could make a convert of anyone with an allergy to HIP cliches. Here is a fully realized, intensely expressive Missa Solemnis that never skates over the surface or drops into a routine dog trot. The lead review, succinct s it is, makes the right points. Here we have the simplicity and clarity of period style applied with a deep understanding of Beethoven. Arguably the Missa Solemnis is his most cosmic work, and even after years of exposure, one can find it daunting and at times baffling. Yet the overwhelming impact of Beethoven's spiritual striving must be confronted by anyone who hopes to lead a successful reading. Some big-name conductors (Giulini, Levine) have gotten bogged down in religiosity or grandiosity, missing the spare directness of Beethoven's intent. In the leaner period style I found Gardiner mistaken, since he does his best to strip the work of either ambition or spiritual greatness, and Zinman is blank-faced and zippy.

Which left room for this riveting reading, which is as moving as any I've ever heard. The reduced forces achieve two things on immediate notice. First, the winds stand out much more starkly than in regular performance; second, the vocalists don't have to be superhuman to succeed in their parts. The whole quartet is satisfying, even though none of the singers was none to me or possesses a world-class voice. The chorus is given curelly exposed lines, all the more so in this ultra-clear recording, and as always with Herreweghe's choral work, their execution is quite impressive. So far as pacing goes, much of it is only a fraction faster than the usual -- Herreweghe rightly finds such weight and majesty in the score that he naturally slows down to accommodate it. I was delighted to find that his lilting rhythm is various sections worked beautifully in contrast to the almost crushing awe of other sections. Nothing is taken too lightly, however. As far as religiosity goes, the conductor sees this as a work that dramatizes the soul rather than a work of church devotion, and his stance suits our times.

In all, a great reading that is so personal and expressive that it rises to the very top of the list.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! 12 Jun 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I have always enjoyed listening to masses and requiems. This is one of the best masses I have ever heard. The chorus and orchestra are well balanced and both are filled with an overwhelming amount of emotion. The soloists are perfect. I love Rosa Mannion's voice, her high notes are amazing, she is by far one of the best sopranos I have heard. The Credo, usually a boring section of the mass, is without a doubt the most uplifting. The Sanctus is amazing! I love the way the soloists fade to nothing only to be overcome by the powerfull "pleni sunt coeli". I also love the Benedictus. The violin solo is absolutly beautifull! The Benedictus is by far the best part of the eniter mass. Beethoven definetly accomplised his goal!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Herreweghe again. 23 Jan 2009
By Bill King - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Liner notes list members of choir (40) and orchestra (55). For a period instrument production that is slightly higer than usual.

A review comparing Gardiners' Messiah (orchestra 31, choir 32) to one by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir noted that a few professional singers could produce a more magisterial sound than a larger group of amateurs.

But here we have a somewhat larger force of professionals. The orchestra on period instruments led by a master noted for his ability to release to the listener the devotional essences of the source material. And most everyone will be pleased enough with the splendidly lush and reverent result that it will have a real chance of being their favorite version.

For all that I also prefer Gardiner's leaner transparent Missa where we the listener imagine we can almost discern each singer and player from out the whole, and more easily identify every word.

Five Stars!
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