This version of A Mass of Life is surely as good as any. The soloists certainly sound impassioned, especially Andrew Kennedy near to the start, soaring over the Orchestra, and of course Alan Opie in his huge Role. The famale parts are also well taken, though to my ears Catharine Wyn-Rogers can occasionally sound a little raw. That said she makes sense of the text and weaves her way through the music with admirable energy.
So why not 5 stars? Well, maybe it's the download, but I don't think so. When listening through earphones (mine are of very high quality indeed and cope with even grander scale sound) I became aware of some distortion in the choral sound. The biggest climaxes just slightly overwhelm the microphones. I'll transfer to CD and listen on my main system shortly, and hope that this will hide the problem a little more, but I doubt that it will.
Buy with confidence, overall, though because the majority of it sounds really very beautiful. A particular nod of congratulations to the Horns at the start of Part II. These parts are high and exposed, yet they are played with gentle precision, allowing the sense of stillness and contemplation to dominate.
Excellent conducting by Hill and tremendously powerful choral singing make this a bargain indeed.