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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is what the Missa Solemnis is about, 2 Oct 2006
This review is from: Beethoven: Missa Solemnis (Audio CD)
As Mahler and Schoenberg did before him, Klemperer, born a jew, switched in his youth to chistianity, becoming a catholic. Unlike his mentor Mahler, who made the move out of convenience, he made it out of conviction; unlike Schoenberg, who reclaimed his jewish faith out of the horror of Nazism, Klemperer remained a christian until his death in 1973, just a handful of years before his 90th birthday. This, his second recorded version of the Beethoven Missa Solemnis, is a record for the ages: indeed, if there were a single recording meriting the label "Great Recording of the Century" under which EMI reissue the better of their vast back catalogue, it would certainly be this. That we are before an unusual experience becomes apparent barely a few seconds into the Kyrie, where the power of expression beckons you to listen attentively. The two fugues that respectively close the Gloria and the Credo are designed to overwhelm you, and the Benedictus will force even the most steadfast of agnostics to stand up, make confession and take communion. And if in the 21st century the sound of martial drums and trumpets Beethoven calls for in the Agnus Dei no longer evoke in the listener the horrors of carnage and war as surely they did to Beethoven's early 19th century audience, the deep plea for peace Klemperer exacts from his wonderful choir and outstanding team of soloists will make you question the world around you like nothing else. There's a force of conviction permeating the whole performance that, in spite of Klemperer's usual no-nonsense focus and granitic exposition making no room for sentimentality (as, for example, Karajan's several recorded versions often allow for), shakes you all over. The Kingsway Hall (stereo) recording dates from 1965, and that the 80-year old conductor was able to hold such a formidable control on the vast forces before him is but astonishing; it may sometimes sound harsh and constricted but no matter: with a such a performance behind it, that is just splitting hairs.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Apr 2011 16:47:21 BDT
Last edited by the author on 12 Apr 2011 16:50:20 BDT
DE says:
"In 1933, once the Nazi Party had reached power, Klemperer, who was Jewish, left Germany and moved to the United States. Klemperer had previously converted to Catholicism, but returned to Judaism at the end of his life...One of his last concert tours was to Jerusalem. Klemperer had performed in Palestine before the state of Israel declared its independence, and returned to Jerusalem only in 1970 to conduct the Israeli Broadcasting Authority Symphonic Orchestra in two concerts, performing the six Brandenburg Concerti and Mozart's symphonies 39, 40 and 41. During this tour he took Israeli citizenship".
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_Klemperer)
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