Archive for the ‘ Anton Bruckner (1824 – 1896) ’ Category

100 Best Sacred Works (6 CDs)


Year: 2007

Label: EMI Classics

Performers: Various

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The Art of Bernard Haitink (10 CDs)


Label: Decca

Year: 2009

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Anton Bruckner, Josef Gabriel Rheinberger – Mass in E minor, Requiem in E flat major


Anton Bruckner
Josef Gabriel Rheinberger

Mass in E minor, Requiem in E flat major

Label: Carus, 83.414
Year: 2008


Saarbrucken Chamber Choir
Mannheim Philharmonic Brass

Georg Grun – conductor

A good new recording of Bruckner’s Mass in E minor is always welcome. Scored for mixed choir accompanied sparingly but effectively by winds and brass, the work is the devoutly Catholic Austrian Romantic composer’s purest and most inward mass setting, and for those who revere his deeply spiritualized symphonies, the work has long been a favorite. It is also one of the composer’s most difficult masses to bring off in performance; long stretches of it are unaccompanied, thereby testing a choir’s intonation, and all of it is technically demanding. Fortunately, the KammerChor Saarbrucken is a superbly polished group with a warmly glowing tone, a seemingly effortless technique, a sense of intonation that never wavers and a real feel for the music’s austere idiom. Accompanied by the Blaser der Kammerphilharmonie Mannheim directed by Georg Grun, the KammerChor turns in a performance of Bruckner’s E minor Mass, which can stand comparison with the best of earlier recordings, including its own 1991 recording with Frieder Bernius. As couplings, Carus provides Bruckner’s radiant motet Libera me, Domine (WAB 22) and Rheinberger’s hitherto unrecorded a cappella Requiem, and while the later work cannot hold a candle to the intensity of Bruckner’s sacred music, it is nevertheless a well written piece that deserves to be heard by listeners dedicated to nineteenth century German sacred music. Carus’ digital sound is cool, but deep, and surprisingly atmospheric.

In his well-known “Mass in E minor” Anton Bruckner combined the vocal style of the Palestrina period with the musical resources of his own time. Along with its austere sound picture and its powerful dynamic contrasts, this Mass differs from Bruckner’s other orchestral masses above all by reason of its uncommon accompaniment of wind instruments alone. In addition to Bruckner’s demanding funeral motet “Libera me”, Josef Gabriel Rheinberger’s “Requiem in E flat” op. 84 is here recorded for the first time. In a masterful a cappella structure Rheinberger created, with straightforward resources, wide areas of tension and extremely effective musical highlights. The KammerChor Saarbrucken again demonstrates its supreme quality, convincing especially in the absolutely homogeneously sung a cappella passages and by its fine dynamic shading.


Anton Bruckner
Mass no 2 in E minor, WAB 27
Libera me Domine in F minor, WAB 22

Josef Gabriel Rheinberger
Requiem in E flat minor, Op. 84


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