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HALL OF FAMEon April 19, 2000
Just before reviewing the Naxos release of Haydn's <Nelson Mass [and] Little Organ Mass> (8.55416), I had to listen for review purposes to "Jesus Christ Superstar"! Believe me, the Haydn was like a gentle salve on raw skin. I always love to play the opening Kyrie from Haydn's "Mass in Time of War" in conjunction with the corresponding movement from the Nelson piece to show how wonderfully the same words could be set to music that expresses the feelings of a particular group of people caught up in the events of particular time in history (the Napoleonic Wars), and then to see how universal it all is to anyone who has turned to the Church or to the Arts for consolation in times of need.
Of course a comparison of the Hungarian Radio and Television Chorus and the Nicolaus Esterhazy Sinfonia under Bela Drahos with the older but still powerful recordings under the baton of Bernstein and other conductors well might leave this recording a little behind! But on a slightly smaller scale and taken (as I have to say for so many recordings) on its own terms, this is a decent interpretation with very good sound and a price that can't be beat.
On what might be a negative note, I somehow find the soprano (Viktoria Loukianetz) not quite blending in with her fellow soloists. Perhaps it is the mike placement. Would someone care to comment on that? Also, I think the order of the works should have been switched as I find the "Little Organ Mass" a bit anticlimactic after the more powerful offering.
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on December 15, 2005
This is a very good recording. Certainly, it's worth much more than its price. It's on a much higher level than the average Naxos CDs. Highly recommended.
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