Beethoven: Missa solemnis

COMPOSERS: Beethoven
LABELS: Decca
WORKS: Missa solemnis
PERFORMER: Julia Varady (soprano), Iris Vermillion (mezzo-soprano), Vinson Cole (tenor), René Pape (bass); Berlin Radio Chorus, Berlin PO/Georg Solti
CATALOGUE NO: 444 337-2 DDD
Once again Solti shows no sign of slowing down with age: his 1977 Chicago Missa solemnis took five minutes longer than this 1994 account. The new version has many merits: well-disciplined soloists, excellent orchestral playing (divine violin solo) and a good deal of human warmth. But the Berlin chorus makes little impact compared with the Chicagoans, and the recording seems to blur many of Beethoven’s sharp edges. Stephen Maddock

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