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Haydn: Lord Nelson Mass / Willcocks, King's College Choir
Tom Krause, George Frederick Handel, Franz Joseph Haydn
Haydn: Lord Nelson Mass / Willcocks, King's College Choir
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (24) - Disc #1


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Four decades of excellence
Larry VanDeSande | Mason, Michigan United States | 04/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This magnificent Haydn mass was recorded when period performance was still a glint in the eye of authenticists, a half-dozen years before Harnoncourt's original embarassment with Bach's Brandenburg concertos. David Willcocks was among a handful of conductors who exhibited temperament, moderation and drama to record the Haydn masses in the 1950s and 1960s in recordings that still have not been surpassed.

Haydn was a great old man, full of fun and humor, not above poking fun at himself, his employers and his society. But one thing he did not poke fun at was God and his relationship with the Almighty. While this mass is technically about Nelson's victory at the Nile, it is clear the driving force behind the drama was Father Superior.

For this reason, the ultra-dramatic, almost cinematic, approach used by Bernstein and Pinnock, while effective, is inappropriate. They overflow with drama but lack dignity. Christian faith is nowhere to be found, neither is self-denial in the face of glory.

Willcocks' singers are wonderful. I have some quibbles with the Latin pronunciation but his singers are miles ahead of the competitors including more recent recordings by Gardiner and Hickox.

The period performance crowd has generally done a nice job with Haydn but none project his temperament as well as Wilcocks, Simon Preston and George Guest, who together recorded all the great Haydn masses in a 10-disk set London 448518). Some of the better performances -- the Nelson, Harmony, Kettledrum and little organ masses, among others -- are in a London twofer you can buy for a very modest cost (ASIN: B0000041MA)."
Good but not the best
Fernando Cisneros | Mexico City | 06/23/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I was looking for a Nelson Mass, so a friend gave me this one. The soprano is good, but I sometimes find her voice a little bit waving. The bass is really a bariton with a dark voice.
The problem is that it's recorded in ADD format, so there's lot of noise.

If you're going to buy a Nelson Mass... better buy....
Haydn: Missa in Angustiis "Nelson Mass" - Te Deum / Lott, Watkinson, M. Davies, Wilson-Johnson; Pinnock"
Beautiful Classic Recording
Wyn Andrews | Lincoln, NE United States | 03/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Having been conducted by Sir David Willcocks several times, it is fun to listen to a recording he conducted in the 1960's! The singing, especially the blissful Janet Baker, is truly beautiful."