Although Helmut Rilling's tempos are sometimes too plodding (the opening Introitus, for example), he makes up for it elsewhere–in an emphatic Recordare and smoothly flowing Benedictus. And while the chorus has a somewhat saturated, conglomerate sound, its impact is nevertheless substantial, not only in the fullest, loudest sections, but also in the quieter passages, which come off as more evenly balanced. Soloists, on the other hand, are absolutely clear if perhaps just a bit too up-front, and the orchestra, which fares well overall, gets swallowed in the mix when the entire chorus is singing. Rilling requires keen articulation from his players and singers, which although normally a good thing sometimes (as in the opening of the Confutatis) seems overly deliberate and stifles the music's natural momentum. –David Vernier
In the liner notes to this premiere recording of his completion, Levin says: "The completed version offered in this recording, however, seeks to respect the 200-year-old history of the Requiem . We have tried not to revise as much, but as little as possible and in a manner we fee it faithful to the character, writing, voice leading, design and structure of Mozart's music."
"Mozart's arrangement of Handel's Messiah dates from early 1789 and was intended for performance at the private concerts of Baron Gottfried van Swieten in Vienna. Messias was first heard at van Swieten's concerts on March 6th, 1789 when Mozart directed the orchestra in his own arrangement of Handel's masterpiece. Listeners encountering Mozart's arrangement for the first time will be by the full-bodied sound of woodwind and brass in the choruses; if momentarily startled by the presence of a horn as opposed to a trumpet in "The trumpet shall sound"… this is a lively performance of Messiah which is certainly worth considering for the solo contributions, above all… you will find much else to enjoy as well".- Gramophone Magazine
October 21, 2012 marks Sir Georg Solti's centenary and Decca is celebrating this with several important reissues.
Sir Georg was an exclusive Decca artist for 50 years.
In 1947 he signed his first contract with Decca - as a pianist and that same year he made his first record as a conductor (with the Zurich Tonhalle in Beethovens Egmont Overture). His last public concerts took place just a few weeks before his death in 1997 and were with the Zurich Tonhalle.
First things first: if you're seeing a picture of this disc on the site of an online retailer, be aware that it contains the Mass in C minor, K. 427, not the "Mass in C," promised by the cover, which would more likely be the "Coronation" Mass in C major, K. 337. It is always a shame when designers are given power of diktat over content editors. The so-called "Great" Mass in C minor is one of Mozart's most ambitious and most problematical works. There was no known immediate stimulus for its composition. Did Mozart begin writing it out of one of his rare religious impulses, on the occasion of his marriage to his bride Constanze? Out of his growing devotion to Freemasonry? Was it his first major exercise in applying the lessons in Bach-style counterpoint he had been receiving at the intellectual salons of the Baron van Swieten in Vienna? Or was it meant as a showpiece for singer Constanze with its killer soprano arias? It was all of these things and none of them, for Mozart never finished the mass.