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Beethoven: Missa Solemnis - The Soli Deo Gloria Collection

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Editorial Reviews

Soli Deo Gloria's DVD of Missa Solemnis shines a supreme light on this rarely performed choral masterpiece. Beethoven wrote that 'music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents,' and this DVD beautifully brings to life the composer's spiritual intent 'to awaken and permanently instill religious feelings, not only in the singers, but also in the listeners.' This performance from a live production in Lisbon, Portugal, features John Nelson, conductor, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Gulbenkian Choir. The soloists include Tamara Wilson, Elizabeth DeShong, Nikolai Schukoff, and Brindley Sherratt. In the words of Maestro Nelson, 'Everything about the creation of this DVD was thrilling. We professionals who spend our lives making music are blessed to do what we do. But it is not every day that we experience everything coming together in a kind of perfection. This was that day.'

DVD extras: More than one hour of video extras including: interviews with John Nelson, conductor, and Peter Readman, chairman of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe - 'Meet Soli Deo Gloria' introductory video - Previews from selected DVDs from The Soli Deo Gloria Collection.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Rhodri Huw
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (DTS 5.1), English (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: French
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Ideale Audience
  • DVD Release Date: October 25, 2011
  • Run Time: 145 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #195,845 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Gerhard P. Knapp on November 2, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
John Nelson has given us what I consider the ultimate Bach B Minor mass on DVD (see my review), and I approached this issue with high expectations. The competition is admittedly stiff: there is Bernstein's inimitable recording, still relatively fresh in sound and video, Gielen's unique version (nla), the very good Gilbert Levine and, most recently, Thielemann's grandiose reading (see my review). Nelson takes a different approach to what could arguably be called Beethoven's greatest work. His orchestral forces, the brilliant COE, are relatively lean and they play modern instruments, with the exception of period trumpets and timpani. His choir, however, the wonderful Gulbenkian Choir, is quite large. As he takes some passages at breakneck speeds (listen to the final bars of the Gloria and the Credo respectively) he can easily achieve with his orchestra, the choir members and the very good soloists are occasionally kept on their respective toes and almost pushed to their limits. All in all, and this may sound contradictory, his approach to the sore is both highly dramatic and equally devotional. There is plenty of drama to portray Beethoven's at times grim struggle with the divine, but the intimate moments shine with a calm luminescence. The bonus interview shows Nelson as a thoughtful, highly articulate musician who has found a personal relationship with "his" Missa. The 2010 Lisbon recording has a traditional, near-perfect video. My only quibble is with the audio balance which at times favors the human over the instrumental voices. The latter may be slightly overwhelmed by either the choir and/or the soloists - who are intentionally placed in front of the choir but nevertheless miked very close. This minor technical flaw is the only reason for my four stars.Read more ›
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