World premiere recordings of music composed around 1520 by two masters of choral composition in England, recorded by one of the leading ensembles for vocal music of this period. The Mass is mysterious and enchanting; 'Ave fuit' will stun and move you.
A 50-CD set of legendary recordings celebrating the world-renowned Decca Sound. Classic-status pioneering stereo recordings from the past 60 years and starring a galaxy of internationally-acclaimed artistic talent.
Antonín Dvorák's Stabat Mater, Op. 58, written in the aftermath of the deaths of three of his children, is a sober and powerful work, inexplicably neglected and unlike any other work of choral music from the 19th century. Perhaps most performances don't capture its full weight, but this live recording from the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Mariss Jansons, does so. There are many deep pleasures here. The orchestra's choir is extraordinary: rich yet without a hint of wobble and utterly clear in its sense of the text. Jansons keeps things at a deliberate pace that lets the music breathe and the currents of personal experience rise to the surface. The soloists, none terribly well known, are fine in their individual numbers, but absolutely transcendent in ensembles, nowhere more so that in the sublime "Quando corpus morietur" finale (track 10); there are a couple of other strong recordings of this work, but it seems likely that no one has ever matched this conclusion. The live recording from the Herkulessaal in Munich is impressively transparent and faithful to the spontaneity of the event. A superb Dvorák release.
The eighteenth century is probably the most extraordinary period of transformation Europe has known since antiquity. Political upheavals kept pace with the innumerable inventions and discoveries of the age; every sector of the arts and of intellectual and material life was turned upside down. Between the end of the reign of Louis XIV and the revolution of 1789, music in its turn underwent a radical mutation that struck at the very heart of a well-established musical language. In this domain too, we are all children of the Age of Enlightenment: our conception of music and the way we ‘consume’ it still follows in many respects the agenda set by the eighteenth century. And it is not entirely by chance that harmonia mundi has chosen to offer you in 2011 a survey of this musical revolution which, without claiming to be exhaustive, will enable you to grasp the principal outlines of musical creation between the twilight of the Baroque and the dawn of Romanticism.
A two-CD set devoted to the Lutheran liturgical repertory from Martin Luther himself to Heinrich Schütz. The first disc comprises compositions specific to the Lutheran liturgy: Deutsche Messe, Deutsches Magnificat, Deutsche Passion (the first German polyphonic Passion, by Joachim von Burck) and even a reconstruction of a Deutsches Requiem drawn from polyphonic works that set the same texts as those Brahms was later to use for his Deutsches Requiem.