WORKS: Coronation Mass K317; Vesperae Solennes de Confessore K339; Ave Verum Corpus K618
PERFORMER: Edith Mathis (soprano), Jadwiga Rappé (contralto), Hans Pater Blochwitz (tenor), Thomas Quasthoff (bass)
CATALOGUE NO: 426 275-2 DDD
This is an attractive record. The soloists blend nicely with each other, which is essential in music including so many ensembles, though it has to be said that Edith Mathis’s voice has lost most of its famous bloom. The tempi are sensible, and the choral/orchestral sound is very good – in short a very welcome set of performances. But there is fierce competition, ranging from a lush ‘Coronation’ Mass with Karajan to a fine performance of the Vespers with Kiri Te Kanawa (recorded more than 20 years ago) and Sir Colin Davis which also includes the magnificent late Kyrie in D minor (K 341), the Ave verum and the ‘Exsultate, jubilate’. First time buyers are urged to listen not only to the Davis version but also to sample Harnoncourt (‘Coronation’ Mass and Vespers on the same CD but with period instruments, recorded in Vienna).