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Missa Solemnis (2011)

 NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Multi-Format 1-Disc Version $37.98  
DVD 1-Disc Version $23.98  

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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: Latin (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: C Major
  • DVD Release Date: March 29, 2011
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004KDO2UM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,878 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Christian Thielemann conducts the Staatskapelle Dresden and Saechsischer Staatsopernchor Dresden with soloists Elina Garanca, Krassimira Stoyanova, Michael Schade, and Franz-Josef Selig.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monumental and very beautiful March 18, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Dear gentlepersons at Amazon:
PLEASE understand that my following review is on THIELEMANN's Missa, NOT on Harnoncourt's. Do correct this silly mistake.
Dear readers, in lieu of a better solution, please scroll down for my thoughts on Nikolaus Harnoncourt's recording. Thank you.
gpk

Christian Thielemann has just given us his remarkable set of Beethoven symphonies on DVD. With his new orchestra, the Dresden Staatskapelle, a quartet of very good soloists and the outstanding Sächsischer Staatsopernchor he now presents what I see as the logical and transcendental summation of all of Beethoven's works: the Missa Solemnis. The DVD competition is stiff. There is Bernstein's inimitable 1978 rendition in still acceptable sound and film, a very special interpretation by Michael Gielen (1986, nla), my long-time favorite, Sir Gilbert Levine's deeply felt and impressive reading and, finally, Fabio Luisi's recording (both 2005) with the same orchestral and choral forces as Thielemann's. The latter two certainly invite comparison: a comparison from which I'll refrain, because I can not quite warm up to Luisi's reading for purely subjective reasons. Thieleman and his excellent ensemble shine in every respect. Tempi are deliberate, as could be expected, but never drag. Despite the very large number of musicians in attendance, Thielemann keeps the sound stage as transparent and detailed as possible: this is one of his trademarks as a conductor. Without baton, he shapes every phrase, every motif to perfection, never losing his grip on the incredibly long thematic lines and on the whole beauty of this monumental edifice.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get this AND the Luisi from 2006 May 9, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I am not a big fan of films of concerts, opera being a different kettle of fish. I certainly don't buy dvds of symphonic concerts but when a large chorus is involved in a major mass with a great orchestra, soloists and conductor I will usually buy it, but I am very selective. How many films of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis do I need? Well, as it turns out two.

From having zero dvds of this piece I ordered the Thielemann concert in a beautiful concert hall from 2010 and the Fabio Luisi one from 2005 filmed at the official opening in the Frauenkirche in Dresden.

Oddly the one from the Frauenkirche is the most authentic concert of the two because it includes applause, and the one from the concert hall is very solemn, slightly pretentious in this regard, and ends with the audience standing silently in homage to the fire bombing of Dresden during WW2. The Frauenkirche might have been the more appropriate place for such reverence.

But there is nothing to complain about in the camera work in either 2005 or 2010. The Unitel from 2010 with Thielemann is fascinating to watch. It is mind-boggling to imagine the coordination of the film team to manage so many cuts and angles and close-ups in a live event without a single camera ever being visible on screen. The work for Luisi's version is equally flawless and beautiful. Thielemann's concert hall is very classical and elegant, Luisi's Frauenkirche setting is joyously baroque and heavenly to behold.. So these two films are quite different and compliment one another very nicely.

Thielemann and Luisi are two of the greatest conductors out there right now. Thielemann eschews baton and score and stands there uninhibited by any incumbrance. His masterful knowledge of the score is evident before the music begins.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harnoncourt's Missa: Superlative in Every Way September 7, 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I was inspired to purchase this Blu-ray of the Missa Solemnis by Robert Levine's 10/10 review at Classics Today, and I was not disappointed.

Harnoncourt gives both clarity and coherence to this sprawling work. As Levine says, "The overall effect of the Missa under Harnoncourt is one of a ceremony, one in which there are emotional outbursts that nonetheless are part of the structure and fabric." The introverted sections are treated with the utmost tenderness, and the extroverted ones are bracing with no hint of bombast.

This disc is perfect in every respect. The top-notch soloists (Marlis Petersen, Elisabeth Kulman, Werner Gura, and Gerald Finley) are well matched and work as part of the team. The Netherlands Radio Choir is excellent. The ambience and acoustics of Amsterdam's Concertgebouw are justifiably world renowned. And the videography and recorded sound (contrary to another reviewer) leave nothing to be desired.

Heretofore, my Missa of choice has been James Levine's 1991 CD with the Vienna Philharmonic. But from now on, when I want to listen to (and view) the Missa Solemnis, I will turn to Harnoncourt and the Concertgebouw.

Addendum (November 2013): This recording continues to astound and delight. James Altena gives a highly favorable review in Fanfare (November/December 2013). He praises Harnoncourt's "extraordinary ability to to sustain dramatic tension at every moment, even during the most quiet and intimate passages" and describes the vocal quartet as "among the strongest ever assembled for a recording of this work."
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent performance of a monumental, seldom-heard choral work.
As an experienced choral singer and director, I must say that the "MIssa Solemnis" is the most physically demanding choral work I have sung, both under George Szell and... Read more
Published 5 months ago by DY
4.0 out of 5 stars The impossibility of the Missa Solemnis
I particularly enjoy this work of art, which I regard as the most intense, in many dimensions, and the most inaccessible when it comes to understanding a piece of music. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Alfonso Corona
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the top chocies on video
This joins the very select ranks of worthwhile performances of this mighty masterwork in the video medium. Read more
Published 7 months ago by James A. Altena
5.0 out of 5 stars Harnoncourt Missa Solemnis
The Amazon reviews of this recording are a total mess because many of them refer to different recordings by different conductors. Read more
Published 9 months ago by John
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, I'll say it!
Most reviewers for this recording are highly laudatory and rapturous. I thoroughly enjoy Harnoncourt's Beethoven Symphonies. Read more
Published 9 months ago by John Hess
4.0 out of 5 stars (Harnoncourt) Fine performance, peculiar surround-sound format
Amazon has made one holy mess of the listing here: First, most of the reviews here are not for the Harnoncourt, but rather the Thielemann, with one exception (as of this writing),... Read more
Published 10 months ago by D. DEGEORGE
5.0 out of 5 stars Beethoven Missa Solemnis
“I love it", BUT…... The 5 stars are strictly for the outstanding performances by singers, playing of orchestras, and sound quality of the CD. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Maurice Cagnon
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving experience on a moving occasion led by Thielemann
Prequel:
My thanks to a reader who has found this review wrongly listed by Amazon under the disc by Harnoncourt as well as being correctly listed under Thielemann's... Read more
Published on July 10, 2012 by I. Giles
2.0 out of 5 stars Sound Engineer Scuttles Solemnis
This review pertains to the Blueray recording by the Staatskappelle of Dresden, conducted by Christian Thielemann. What a great disappointment!!!! Read more
Published on May 9, 2012 by Joseph Falotico
3.0 out of 5 stars bad sound distribution
The problem appears with the male voices ... and in the Santus the lovable and
unique solo of the violin is not audible ... lost into the orchesta ! ...
Non sense.
Published on June 13, 2011 by Carlos Alberto Mariani
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