Mozart: Mass in C minor (ed. Kemme); C.P.E. Bach: Heilig ist Gott

Philip Reed
Saturday, December 9, 2023

The Dunedin Consort present ‘a superb account’ of Mozart’s Mass in C minor under the direction of John Butt

Lucy Crowe (s), Anna Dennis (s), Jess Dandy (a), Nicholas Mulroy (t), Robert Davies (b), Dunedin Consort / John Butt (dir)
Linn Records CKD721 [60:00]
★★★★★

Hot on the heels of their outstanding performance of Mozart’s C minor Mass at the BBC Proms, the Dunedin Consort under their director John Butt here delivers an equally superb account of the same work, coupled with a rarity by C.P.E. Bach. Once upon a time Robbins Landon’s edition of the incomplete Mozart held sway, but today there is a panoply of versions, some fuller than others. Butt opts for Clemens Kemme’s recent edition, which incorporates only music Mozart specifically wrote for the Mass, but with a few minor tinkerings to the instrumentation and adjustments to the vocal parts. Butt employs small forces throughout, which takes away from the accustomed grandeur of some of the double choir movements. But there are benefits to his approach, not least in the clarity of the textures, especially in the contrapuntal movements so obviously inspired by J.S. Bach. With well-judged tempi, and alert, lively playing and singing – the soloists are uniformly excellent, with both sopranos acquitting themselves with honours – the merits of this recording are manifold. C.P.E. Bach’s double choir Heilig is a rarity, but one which Kemme believes influenced Mozart’s Mass. Butt and his forces deliver probably the best performance it’s ever had.

Choir & Organ Print

  • New print issues
  • New online articles
  • Unlimited website access

From £5.50 per month

Subscribe

Choir & Organ Digital

  • New digital issues
  • New online articles
  • Digital magazine archive
  • Unlimited website access

From £5.50 per month

Subscribe

                    

If you are an existing subscriber to Gramophone, International Piano or Opera Now and would like to upgrade, please contact us here or call +44 (0)1722 716997.