"Schermerhorn and the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and chorus take on the challenge of the acclaimed Missa Solemnis from Beethoven. With three of Toscanini’s recordings available in decent sound and a handful of other revelatory performances in the catalogue, it takes courage to record Beethoven’s awesome Missa Solemnis. Although Kenneth Schermerhorn falls short of the best, his interpretation is honest and heartfelt. His dramatic vision is backed by an impressive solo quartet, a choir that leaves nothing in reserve and the rich-sounding Nashville Symphony. A generous Naxos bargain." ****
"The Symphony Chorus is a splendid group who sing with confidence... The four soloists are really very good... Mezzo Robynne Redmon sings with fine, firm tone and great commitment. Tenor James Taylor is excellent too... their quartet singing is often of a very high quality... Conductor Kenneth Schermerhorn clearly has a firm grasp of the work, and handles the architecture of the huge movements very well, with tempi that allow the character of the music to be felt strongly."
Gwyn Parry-Jones - MusicWeb-International.com - February 2004
"On this Naxos release, the performance from the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Kenneth Schermerhorn is electrifying with a magnificent blend of white-hot intensity combined with a genuine serenity so rarely achieved in the recording studio. I found the incandescent choral singing to be superb with an abundance of dramatic flair which drew me from one section of the score to the next. On this showing, together with his conducting on three recent Naxos releases in their American Classics Series, Kenneth Schermerhorn, the musical director of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, must be one America’s best kept secrets; a kind of American equivalent of David Lloyd-Jones in the UK. Schermerhorn’s direction has real presence and authority, allowing the pace to flow freely and displaying the necessary emotional intensity.The sound quality is among the best that I have heard from Naxos. Crisp and clear and remarkably well balanced too. Naxos have struck gold with this release. A truly awe-inspiring performance. Outstanding!"
Michael Cookson - MusicWeb-International.com
"The newest terrific recording of Beethoven’s fearsome, monumental Missa Solemnis is from the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Yes, Beethoven at his loftiest is done complete justice in the country-music capital of the world."
David Patrick Stearns - The Philadelphia Inquirer - April 2004
"This rare all-American production of the Missa presents the music in the grand romantic manner, with former New Jersey Symphony Orchestra music director Kenneth Schermerhorn and his Nashville charges addressing the challenges of this imposing score with admirable spirit and polish."
Bradley Bambarger - The Star-Ledger - April 2004
"...The Nashville Symphony under Schermerhorn makes a fine showing against formidable competition going back more than half a century. The chorus sings with strength and enthusiasm, and it is a pleasure to hear this profound music sung with conviction ..."
Althouse - American Record Guide - August 2004
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