- Mass for soloists, chorus & orchestra in E flat major, D. 950
- Vesperae solennes de confessore for soloists, chorus & orchestra, K. 339
Schubert: Messe in Es; Mozart: Vesparae Solennes de Confessoreby Charles Mackerras
While listening to Charles Mackerras' splendid recording of Schubert's "E flat major Mass," one might well come to wonder why the work is not performed and recorded more often as well as why it is not rated among the greatest Mass settings of the period. So masterful is Mackerras' conducting and so compelling his interpretation that Schubert's final Mass stands revealed as an aesthetic match of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven's best settings. Recorded live in the Dresden Frauenkirche with the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Staatsopernchor Dresden, and four soloists in April 2008, Mackerras' performance is enormous in conception and flawless in execution. He envisions Schubert's last Mass as a testament to his faith, albeit a faith that was not Catholicism since the composer purposefully omitted portions of the text, but a larger and more all-encompassing faith that includes all humanity in its capacious embrace. With its vigorous choral writing brilliantly performed, its strenuous orchestral writing superbly played, and its virtuoso solo writing superlatively sung by the Dresden forces assembled under Mackerras' confident leadership, Schubert's "E flat major Mass" receives a performance that befits its stature as an homage to Beethoven, which matches the master in its musical and spiritual magnificence. As a generous coupling, the disc also includes an equally splendid recording of Mozart's "Vesperae solemnes de Confessore" performed at the same concert. With his first recording as director of Staatskapelle Dresden, Mackerras has demonstrated that though in his ninth decade, he is at his peak as a conductor. Finally, it should be noted that Carus has done a first-rate job recording the performance; the sound here is spacious yet detailed, colorful but blended and above all amazingly immediate.
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Performance CreditsCharles Mackerras Primary Artist
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