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Donald R. Vroon
American Record Guide, May 2012

…there have been so very few recordings of the Gounod, which I have always considered the most perfect, most wonderful, most joyful mass setting of them all.

[Gounod's] sacred music is the real thing. The power of this music comes from something far more powerful. Its sweetness, joy, and majesty are utterly authentic. This is great, great music…

The Bavarian choir and orchestra are wonderful, of course…Jansons has a tenor soloist who has recorded this before: Christian Elsner…He is excellent. So is the soprano.

I suppose, having complained that no one records this, I should be grateful that someone finally has. Help yourselves! © 2012 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide online

Michael Cookson
MusicWeb International, March 2012

The Bavarian Radio forces provide an exhilarating account of Schubert’s Mass No. 2…I especially enjoyed the fleet and vigorous Gloria, almost celebratory in manner, with its impressively sung short duet for Luba Orgonášová and Christian Elsner. Masterful choral singing in the Credo is declamatory with highly memorable melodies. The bucolic mood of the Benedictus is altered by the trio of soloists with Orgonášová in remarkably fine voice.

Gounod was an extremely prolific writer of sacred music including a large number of masses. The Solemn Mass for soloists, mixed choir, orchestra and organ from 1855 is more usually known as the Saint Cecilia Mass. In this work Jansons and his Bavarian choir and orchestra deliver a performance of significant dramatic weight combined with deep religious zeal. Jansons takes the listener on a thrilling and compelling journey. Imbued with a striking purity the opening Kyrie offers wondrous choral singing. The contribution from the trio of soloists adds to the engaging atmosphere with soprano Orgonášová soaring over the tenor and bass. In the Gloria and the Credo I was struck by the awesome power of the combined forces and the contrast provided by the soprano’s meltingly radiant solos. Highly memorable is the striking brass opening of the Credo; it could easily have come from a Meyerbeer or Verdi opera. The Sanctus is well known and much admired. It is intensely melodic and here is beautifully played. Tenor Christian Elsner is reverential and richly satisfying. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review

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