Top 10 classical music recordings for Easter

Gramophone Sun 5th March 2017

Easter has prompted some of the greatest works of art in every medium, and music certainly has its share of masterpieces...

In the three days that embrace Good Friday and Easter Day, the Christian faith moves from sober reflection to joyous celebration – Easter embraces the mystery that lies at the heart of the religion, Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Easter has prompted some of the greatest works of art in every medium, and music certainly has its share of masterpieces. Here – from a vast pool of glorious creations – are 10 works that embrace the anguish of Good Friday and the jubilation of Easter Day. At the heart of this list are three (from the many!) settings of the Stabat mater, the 13th-century Roman Catholic hymn to the Virgin Mary standing at the foot of the cross: and you couldn’t get three more different responses to the text. Mascagni’s opera takes place entirely on Easter Day and contains one of verismo’s most glorious arias, the so-called Easter Hymn.

No 1

Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana

Soloists; Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala / Herbert von Karajan

'Of the famous Karajan set, opulent in sound...' Read review

 

No 2

Bach: Easter Cantata BWV31

Monteverdi Choir / Sir John Eliot Gardiner

'Easter 2000 had strong historical...' Read review

 

No 3

Haydn: Seven Last Words

Rosamunde Quartet

'The playing is limpid and subtly coloured‚ sparing of vibrato...' Read review

 

No 4

Pergolesi: Stabat mater

Coro della Radiotelevisione Svizzera I Barocchisti / Diego Fasolis

'The vast Stabat mater discography...' Read review

 

No 5

Rossini: Stabat mater

London Symphony Chorus, City of London Sinfonia / Richard Hickox

'Rossini's Stabat mater has not been at all frequently recorded and what...' Read review

 

No 6

Poulenc: Stabat mater

Paris Choir and Orchestra / Paavo Järvi

'His solemnity and sincerity are to the fore in an interpretation that encapsulates the anguish...' Read review

 

No 7

Biber: Mystery Sonatas

Holloway; Moroney; Tragicomedia

'These are deeply felt performances, full of sensibility and variously tender and passionate...' Read review

 

No 8

Cornysh: Woefully arrayed

The Tallis Scholars / Peter Phillips

'No one until now has mounted a serious and comprehensive retrospective...' Read review

 

No 9

Vaughan Williams: Five Mystical Songs

Thomas Allen; Corydon Singers and Orchestra / Matthew Best

'Thomas Allen, leading that lowest group...' Read review

 

No 10

Handel: Messiah

The Sixteen / Harry Christophers

'Over the past few decades Harry Christophers and The Sixteen have performed...' Read review

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