Beethoven: Mass in C; Missa solemnis

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Beethoven
LABELS: Decca Double Decca
WORKS: Mass in C; Missa solemnis
PERFORMER: Susan Dunn, Lucia Popp, etc; Ernst Senff Chamber Choir, RIAS Chamber Choir, Berlin RSO/Riccardo Chailly, Chicago SO & Chorus/Georg Solti
CATALOGUE NO: 455 014-2 ADD/DDD 1978/87
These recordings, though less than twenty years old, have a ‘far away’ feel. Neither hints at a revisionist agenda; neither is accompanied by a manifesto outlining correct Beethoven performance. If you like them, it won’t be because they’re ‘interesting’: it’ll be because they’re good. Chailly, in the Mass in C, is a master of shape. Solti creates something massive and precarious out of the Missa solemnis. We sense his forces are the less reliable but, amazingly, it all works. Christopher Wood