As the mysterious opening bars of the Kyrie gradually emerge into the light, we know that this recording of Mozart’s glorious Great Mass in C minor is a special one: the tempi perfect, the unfolding drama of the choral writing so carefully judged, and, above it all, the crystalline beauty of soloist Carolyn Sampson’s soprano, floating like a ministering angel. Masaaki Suzuki’s meticulous attention to detail, so rewarding in his remarkable Bach recordings, shines throughout this disc, the playing alert, the choir responsive, the soloists thrilling. And there is the bonus of an exhilarating Exsultate, Jubilate with Sampson on top form.
In the 2015 / 2016 season, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra celebrates a proud 125-year history of bringing the best in classical music performances to audiences right across Scotland and beyond. Marking its recording relationship with the Orchestra, Chandos has compiled a two-disc set (at the price of one CD) of the finest of thirty years of recordings that have shaped the reputation of the Orchestra as well as the label. The RSNO has amassed a tremendous discography on Chandos over the years, including great recording series devoted to works by Dvorak, Elgar, and Prokofiev. Now on SACD, its releases continue to receive high praise.