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on 23 April 2014
A super performance throughout and well worthwhile buying to add to your collection. A great lineup of soloists and great conducting.
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on 8 July 2016
Excellent CD of the highest quality. Choral work outstanding. Prompt delivery
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on 3 December 2007
This is a wonderful recording of what must rank as one of the most awesome pieces of music ever written. Personally I can listen to this 3 times in a row, and will have goose pimples all the way through, for 3 hours solid, every time. This music is just so jaw-droppingly, humongously, enormously, epically BIG!!! If this music was a painting it would cover a canvas the size of a football field. If this music was a sculpture it would dwarf the Eifel tower. It is truly incomprehensible. Luckily you don't have to comprehend, it's enough to fasten your seat belt, turn up the volume, and prepare to take leave of planet humdrum for an unforgettable ride.

One remark on this particular recording: some reviewers (e.g. Milan) think this recording compares unfavorably with the Klemperer. I own both recordings, and I strongly disagree. In fact, I bought this recording because the Klemperer recording had given me an inkling that the missa solemnis was a particular gem, but the Klemperer recording was simply not good enough to do it justice. For starters, the Klemperer is not a digital recording, but is done from old, poor quality masters that lack in clarity and depth and sound very flat, like listening to the music through a garden hose. The same certainly cannot be said of this Gardiner recording, which is so sharp and clear that, when you listen to it on a good stereo, you think the orchestra is sitting right next to you (which is half the fun, because it's a BIG orchestra making HUGE music, and they couldn't possibly fit in my little room, but here they all are nevertheless). Furthermore, I am convinced the Klemperer is far too ponderous and slow throughout. This Gardiner recording, in contrast, picks up the pace where appropriate (and here it is often appropriate - the fanfares and crescendos of Christ returning in a blaze of glory can't be done at a ponderous, ambling pace, they've got to ROCK your socks off, and in this recording they most certainly do). I'm sure Ludwig would have approved. Just compare Beethoven's 'Tempest' piano sonata and it is obvious that Ludwig was well into dramatic tempo changes and loved the occasional 'furioso'. Gardiner understood this and makes it happen here. (Unlike Klemperer, who either didn't get it or just couldn't keep up).
In a nutshell, this is a fine interpretation of the biggest, most incredible music on earth. For the price an absolute steal.
7 people found this helpful
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on 6 December 2009
This performance is a sparkling crystaline intimate jewel of fiery brilliance and dynamic energy. The period instruments and the rather small choral and orchestral forces create a work which, in my opinion comes very close to us. When you compare the Klemperer version with this Gardiner version you get the feeling that the monumental majestic quality of the Klemperer version is so big and grand that it appears to sit outside of our sphere of time and space in another timeless world of eternity, which of course is exactly what the work is all about, but however at the same time it remains distant from us - a great monument like the Colosseum or the Parthenon existing in its own world, while the Gardiner version though perhaps lacking a deep emotional pathos or poetic intensity and tension does come closer to us and touches us if not as much emotionally as the Klemperer version at least in a structual sense. It is closer and more vivid and more brilliant. Gardiner's forces with their precise attacks, meticulous detail and articulation create an overall orchestral color that is of silvery clarity and sparkle, while the Klemperer version is golden and bronze-like, and the modern instruments of the Klemperer version use more vibrato. Of course the DDD recorded sound, and 1990's audio engineering of the Gardiner version is better than the ADD sound and 1960's engineering of the Klemperer version which also has audible tape hiss. I think you definitely need both versions, the Gardiner version for a period instrument performnce to see the structure of the work and hear the melodic weaving of counterpuntal lines and well as experience the precise articulations of the orchestration and choral singing with its great brilliance and fiery energy, and the Klemperer version for a modern instrument version for its other worldy emotionalism and grand majestic architectural sound. The Gardiner version won the Gramophone Record of the Year Award (Choral) in 1991, while the Klemperer version is still considered the standard reference recording of the work. Both performances satisfy different musical and emotional needs. I think Beethoven would like both renditions for he would see all of his meticulous detailed writing and orchestration and his study of Renaissance and Palestrina-like counterpoint shown off to great effect in the Gardiner and would feel the sublime majesty he created in the Klemperer version. Beethoven: Missa Solemnis
10 people found this helpful
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on 2 November 2007
I bought the CD after reading the recommendations by other owners. I will not say that I regret it (how can one regret having a copy of any performance of Solemnis?) but I will say that I was quite disappointed. I gave thought on it since I don't like the Don Giovanni under Gardiner, but, this is a lesson learned for me. I do not know whether it is because I am too much in awe of Klemperer but my ear is not coping with Gardiner's odd interpretation, it just lacks the strength, dynamism and convincing singing (soloists & choir) I experience with Klemperer. To conclude, I would not recommend it to anyone that regards Klemperer as the "Alpha and Omega".

Milan
8 people found this helpful
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on 5 January 2014
This was used as an excellent recording I recommended to introduce a friend to this magnificent work. I believe it was successful.
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on 28 July 2015
This arrived 48 hours after I placed my order, and I am delighted with it.
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on 3 November 2016
Excellent, use constantly arrived on time.
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on 22 September 2012
I had been trying to listen to Beethoven's Missa Solemnis for many years, determined to "learn" to like it... However except for the first movement which I had always loved, the rest of it just never really did anything for me... Being a huge Beethoven fan, and knowing that this is considered one his greatest and most profound works I was very frustrated that I just didn't get it... that was until I decided to try a new recording.
The recording I had been previously listening to was the famous Klemperer recording, which has a very heavy sound. This Gardiner recording is played by period instruments with a more modest size orchestra and gives a much clearer and crisp sound, so even the less-well-trained ear can pick out every part and every note, while still sounding very grand and bold. On the first listen I was amazed: it was like everything had been brought into focus and suddenly it all made sense. I was (and still am) overwhelmed by the beauty and power of this music.
I haven't yet returned to the Klemperer recording but I'm curious as to how it will sound to me now!

Highly recommended for anyone who has so-far struggled to listen to this amazing yet very complex work by the greatest composer of all time, and also to anyone who already loves and appreciates it and wants to hear a more authentic sound.
2 people found this helpful
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on 9 October 2014
GREAT !!!!
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