- Requiem in E flat
- Miserere in D minor
Johann Adolf Hasse was a north German, born in 1699, who learned his craft in Italy and spent much of his career as an opera composer in Dresden. So this recording, by a Dresden Baroque orchestra and choir, comes from his home turf. Hasse's choral music is little known but, on the evidence of this disc, worth uncovering. Germany reviewers have lampooned the "Requiem" mass recorded here for its cheerful quality, but that reaction is the result of listening for Mozart's "Requiem" and not getting it; heard on its own terms, Hasse's mass is a work of smaller dimensions than Mozart's but by no means a trivial one. Much of the mass, a late work, has a warm quality that may bring the Brahms "German Requiem" to mind, and any restraint heard in the present recording may come from the rather dispassionate direction of Hans-Christoph Rademann rather than from the music itself. There is little to object to in the sound of the choir and soloists; tenor Eric Stocklossa has a distinctive but tense sound that does not mesh well with the rest of the soloists. And the "Miserere" setting that rounds out the disc is not of the same quality as the "Requiem" despite its unusual all-female forces -- it was written (we unfortunately do not learn when) for a female Venetian orphanage of the sort that nurtured Vivaldi's career. On the whole, though, this is a worthwhile excavation of a work from the little-known choral tradition of the Classical era.