kelsie | Plainview, Texas United States | 04/29/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are three Eugene Jochum recordings of the Mass in B minor floating around out there: this is the first and oldest.
Jochum's reading is generally even-paced and flows easily. He avoids the stateliness of Klemperer's reading (a Deutsche Grammophon reissue) but does not fly by the listener in a mad rush as do Pearlman and Gardiner--overall, this is, in a word, a very solid and respectable performance. Jochum's choral forces are large (HUGE if you're used to the "one voice per part" approach) and at their fullest (such as the opening "Kyrie") the choirs and orchestra combined can generate a respectably powerful sound, despite the age of the recording.
The soloists are all uniformly good, if not the most outstanding singers in the world. There are slight balance issues in spots, notably the "Domine Deus" duet between soprano and tenor soloists: the soprano overpowers the tenor almost entirely throughout the movement.
Overall, Jochum's first recording is absolutely solid: neither outstandingly great nor horrifically awful. For folks approaching this masterwork for the first time, this is a great place to start (even better is Jochum's third reading: Bach: Mass in B minor )"