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Paul L Althouse
American Record Guide, September 2017

Wit takes both pieces fairly slowly, thus bringing out a bit of the spiritual side of the works. The lyricism he finds in, for example, the Kyrie is very appealing and a perfect match for the text. Most lively sections, many in the sometimes bombastic Te Deum, are certainly done well… Wit’s soloists are all acceptable, but baritone Lopez is the standout for me. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

David Hurwitz, August 2017

This performance, featuring the enthusiastic choral participation of the Orfeón Pamplonés, tells us that there’s something of value going on in Pamplona… Antoni Wit, always a first class choral conductor, leads an ideal performance, perfectly paced and completely at one with the music’s directness and sincerity. Dvorák was a believer and had no need to score points or strain after effects. Wit takes him at his word.

Wit and his forces capture the music’s celebratory splendor, finding a good bit of captivating orchestral detail along the way. The soloists are all decent or better, the Navarra orchestra on its toes, and the sonics reverberant but not too cloudy. A very enjoyable disc. © 2017 Read complete review

Malcolm Riley
Gramophone, July 2017

At full throttle, the choral singing is impressive, …Mezzo Marina Rodríguez-Cusí is in particularly rich voice, ideal for this repertory, and both of the male soloists, Javier Tomé and José Antonio López, are on splendid form… © 2017 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

David Denton
David's Review Corner, May 2017

Having earned his early living as an orchestral musician, Dvořák was aged 30 before committing his life to composition while enjoying a stipend as a church organist. The two came together in a number of sacred works, though in his later life they were intended for concert use rather than ecclesiastical purposes. That was certainly not the case with the Mass in D, its original purpose being for the consecration of a chapel and was scored for three soloists, choir and organ. That is where the packaging of this new release is somewhat misleading in claiming to be the ‘Mass in D, opus 86 (1887)’, the date of the original score, whereas it contains the much later 1892 version with orchestral accompaniment and was for concert use. It certainly changes the score’s general texture, with the work’s dramatic sections in the Gloria and Credo much more forcibly projected. Many commentators, however, prefer the leaner textures of the organ accompaniment and which is available on disc. That revised version was the same year as he wrote the Te Deum, commissioned by the founder of the American National Conservatory and premiered in New York. Almost a four movement choral symphony, the timpani outburst in the opening bars setting the scene for a very fulsome orchestral presence, the content of this quite short work seemingly aimed at a New World market. The disc as a whole gives a platform for the fine Spanish chorus, the Orfeón Pamplonés, and the outstanding orchestra under its recently appointed Artistic Director, Antoni Wit. The Te Deum offers the soloists an operatic presence with the silvery voiced Polish soprano, Ewa Biegas, who I much enjoyed in the Mass, at times sounding a little strained, Javier Tomé displaying his credentials as a leading Spanish tenor. A rather reverberant sound. © 2017 David’s Review Corner

Dean Frey
Music for Several Instruments, April 2017

I’m a big fan of the conductor Antoni Wit. His Naxos discography is extensive, and a string of awards has people paying more attention to his new releases. The discs I’ve enjoyed the most have been with the excellent Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, including a very fine 2015 Dvorak Requiem. Wit is also (since 2013–14) the Artistic Director of the Orquesta Sinfonica de Navarra, and this I believe is his first recording with this orchestra. The Mass in D and the Te Deum are both very appealing works from a choral composer of the first order. Though both are smaller in scope, they reach the same peaks of pathos, awe and consolation as Dvorak’s Requiem. The lovely swinging opening Kyrie of the Mass is sung and played by Wit’s Spanish musicians with the utmost delicacy, though Wit teases out the backbone as well. Dvorak’s Brahms and Beethoven models are perhaps more forward than they might be with a Eastern European orchestra. The choral singing from the Orfeon Pamplones is superb, and all four soloists are strong, with soprano Ewa Biegas a stand-out. © 2017 Music for Several Instruments Read complete review

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