- Mass for soloists, chorus & orchestra in D major ("Missa Solemnis"), Op. 123
- Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Mozart for orchestra, Op. 132
In 1955 and at the peak of his postwar powers, Karl Böhm recorded Beethoven's "Missa Solemnis" with the Berlin Philharmonic with an all-star cast of soloists. It is a great and powerful performance: tightly argued, superbly played, fabulously sung, and very dramatic. Deutsche Grammophon's original mono recording was clear but a little distant, and the digital remastering keeps the clarity and brings the performers a little closer to the listener. In every way that matters, this is a great "Missa Solemnis." The thing is, how many recordings of the "Missa Solemnis" does anyone want or need? There's Böhm's later 1974 with the Vienna Philharmonic, a deeper and more transcendent performance. And then there's the furious Toscanini, the lyrical Jochum, the loving Giulini, and, of course, the sublime 1965 Klemperer. If one were to collect recordings of the "Missa Solemnis" -- and since it is beyond all debate Beethoven's greatest work, an argument could be made for having at least a couple dozen -- Böhm's 1955 recording deserves a place of honor on that capacious shelf. But if you don't reckon you need more than a half-dozen recordings of the "Missa Solemnis," then the 1955 Böhm probably doesn't make the cut.