The choir is very well prepared and sings with strength and enthusiasm; the various fugues are all nicely done. The soloists are all satisfactory…the overall effect is quite good, thanks to Robev, who moves things along well and paces the works expertly. He has everything firmly under control; he has a fine instinctive feel for Schubert; and I’ll happily admit I enjoyed his work very much.
Drawing on recordings originally made in 1986 and 1988, this attractively-priced boxed set gathers all of Schubert’s masses along with two offertoria, a Magnificat, and settings of the Tantum Ergo and Stabat Mater texts. They are performed vigorously (perhaps sometimes just a bit too robustly) by a shifting cast of German and Bulgarian choirs and orchestras; the production has a certain back-of-the-hall sound quality to it, but is clear and nicely resonant without being too boomy—always a risk with this repertoire. Schubert’s heartbreaking way with a melody is as fully evident in these devotional works as it is in his lieder, and this box can be confidently recommended to any library needing a convenient collection of the complete masses.
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