Saving the Best for Last
GeneH | Pennsylvania, USA | 07/12/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This one of the last six "missae ultimae" of JD Zelenka. According to what I've read, these masses were never performed during his lifetime - they were written for Zelenka's own satisfaction but alas the cycle of six ended at only three when death claimed him. Much like Bach's mass in b minor, which was also never performed in its entireity during his life time except in his own heart, this mass was written, and perhaps shared with trusted intimates but had to wait for a more enlightened time to see the light of day.Highly "operatic" here and intimate there, full of pathos and then exuberance, sounding so much like good Opera that it is hard to remember that this is also a Catholic Mass. However if you find the idea of a "Mass" somewhat unpleasant don't let it put you off for it is also first class entertainment. This work shares with all of Zelenka's works a wonderful "surprise" in harmony, in suspense and in consistency of same throughout. Zelenka truly in many ways saved the best for last.This album was well done by Ludwig Guttler, the Virtuosi Saxonae, the Thuringiser Akademischer Singkreis and four wonderful vocal soloists. Anything I've heard from "Berlin Classics" has that touch of restraint and exhuberance balanced against one another. Here too on this CD you will discover a balance between the two but there is no compromise with quality."