Salieri: Kaisermesse in D; Magnificat in C; Dixit Dominus; Organ Concerto

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3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Salieri
LABELS: Koch Schwann
WORKS: Kaisermesse in D; Magnificat in C; Dixit Dominus; Organ Concerto
PERFORMER: Anton Gansberger (organ)St Florian Boys Choir, Leondinger SO/ Uwe Christian Harrer
CATALOGUE NO: 3-1288-2
Extraordinary to think that this attractive record of religious music by that old villain Antonio Salieri (he was not at all as nice as his adherents now proclaim) is exclusively due to the film Amadeus (which is now 13 years old). Here is a Mass setting to celebrate Emperor Joseph II’s return from the wars. You can hear clearly that it is a ‘reform’ Mass of Josephian standards: the score is short and ‘popular’ with a minimum of showy vocal parts and learned, long fugues. But Emperor Joseph II fell ill and died in 1790, and the Mass was not then performed.

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The church music is solid and workaday, very professional and curiously impersonal, not like the similar works by Haydn and Mozart of the period. The performances, conducted by the ex-director of the Vienna Boys Choir, are very like the kind of performances I rejoiced in when I was with the US army in Vienna after the war. It is a pretty record and fills a gap in the catalogues. HC Robbins Landon