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CHAN 0750

Schubert: Mass in E flat major, D950

The Classical Shop
release date: March 2008

Recorded in 24 Bit / 96Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 2007

Artists:

Collegium Musicum 90


Richard Hickox


Matthew Rose

bass

Pamela Helen Stephen

mezzo-soprano

Susan Gritton

soprano

James Gilchrist

tenor

Mark Padmore

tenor

Venue:

St Jude on the Hill, Hampstead, London



Producer:

Rachel Smith



Engineer:

Ralph Couzens


Jonathan Cooper

(Assistant)

Record Label
Chaconne

Genre:

Choir


Orchestral & Concertos

Total Time - 52:50
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FRANZ SCHUBERT

(1797-1828)
   
 

Mass in E flat major, D950

52:54  
  in Es-Dur - en mi bémol majeur  
1 I Kyrie 5:50
2 II Gloria. 'Gloria in excelsis Deo' - 3:28
3 'Domine Deus' - 5:03
4 'Cum Sancto Spiritu' 4:03
5 III Credo. 'Credo in unum Deum' - 2:41
6 'Et incarnatus est' - 6:36
7 'Et resurrexit' 6:13
8 IV Sanctus 3:22
9 V Benedictus 5:52
10 VI Agnus Dei 9:42
   
 Susan Gritton soprano
 Pamela Helen Stephen mezzo-soprano
 Mark Padmore tenor
 James Gilchrist tenor
 Matthew Rose bass
 Richard Hickox
  26 & 27 July 2007  
Hot on the heels of Richard Hickox's highly acclaimed classical masses of Haydn and Hummel and Beethoven, comes Schubert.

The same award winning team has been assembled to give more world-class performances

Schubert’s final mass and most ambitious setting was composed during the summer of 1828, only months before his death. It was premiered posthumously, on October 4, 1829, under the direction of his brother, Ferdinand. Much more than his previous efforts in the genre, it is a choral mass, relegating the vocal soloists to three brief episodes to allow for large chorus passages, and provides an extremely active role for the orchestra. Today, the Mass in E Flat is increasingly acknowledged as an individual masterpiece; powerful and disquieting, more monumental than the fifth, but likewise seeking to reconcile liturgical grandeur with Schubert’s own subjective romantic feeling, whilst still influenced by Haydn, Beethoven and Bach. Its concern for splendour is most obvious in the huge set-piece fugues at the end of the Gloria and Credo but all the time liturgical tradition is coloured by an individual and sometimes unsettling chromaticism, possibly evoking the personal pain he was suffering, not only physically but also the anguish of questioning his faith. The result is some of the most violent anguish encountered in a setting of the text.

Richard Hickox has long wanted to record this powerful work. The recording follows the successful concert at the 2007 BBC Proms. The same stellar cast is brought together, including Susan Gritton, James Gilchrist and Mark Padmore, accompanied by Collegium Musicum 90. The Guardian commented on the Proms performance: ‘it was graciously sung and conducted…’ The Daily Telegraph wrote: ‘Wednesday night brought Schubert’s wonderful and rarely-performed late E flat Mass, performed by some fine soloists and the ‘early music’ orchestra and choir Collegium Musicum 90, conducted by Richard Hickox. It’s close to being Schubert’s last piece, and has an amazing harmonic daring mingled with a minatory severity – a very potent mix’.

The recording is dedicated to the memory of Francesca McManus who, before her death, was for many years the manager of CM90.

"... the powerful new Hickox recording of this late Schubert masterpiece, clean as a whistle, superbly recorded, and with an excellent note by the scholar Brian Newbould, is now the one to have."

International Record Review

"Turn to Hickox and you’ll hear how this heavenly music should sound, with the three soloists singing with pure tone and wondering tenderness. Hickox scores, too, with his extra choral firepower at climaxes, and the wonderfully pungent sonorities of Collegium Musicum 90, whether in the dry, fearful rattle of period timpani in the Credo, the lovely ’woody’ oboe and clarinet in the Et incarnates est of the steely, scything trumpets in the Agnus Dei."

 

Gramophone

"Its originality is remarkable, and it is good to welcome a revelatory performance and recording, in which every detail of Schubert’s often complex structures come through with clear, natural balance; the important timpani part is unusually well realised.Both choir and orchestra shine, relishing the drama that is so often lacking in Schubert’s stage works and, under Hickox’s perceptive and enthusiastic direction, also appreciating to the full the many reflective passages."


Early Music Review

"Period-instrument colour, warm-toned choral singing and Hickox’s imaginative, heartfelt vision help define this performance of Schubert’s late masterpiece as a benchmark recording."

Classic FM Magazine

"This new recording fills a gap in the market – few period bands have tackled this late, great work, and it comes up gleaming in the care of Collegium Musicum 90 under Richard Hickox’s direction… Hickox’s soloists are superb too – their ‘et Incarnatus est’ ensemble is sublime in its creamy lyricism, and the singers do not compete with each other for the limelight."


BBC Music Magazine

"Richard Hickox directs his crack period forces in a string, sympathetic performance, glowingly recorded ... The chorus blaze with white hot intensity in Schubet’s many climaxes, while the soloists sing with tenderness and grace in the Benedictus and the ravishing ’Et incarnatus est’."

The Telegraph

"Hickox’s Collegium Musicum 90 uses period instruments (or copies thereof), but many would not notice the difference because Hickox does not use historical instruments as a license to exceed the speed limit or conduct without feeling."

American Record Guide



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