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Rob Cowan
Gramophone, August 2019

Orfeo’s reissue of Rafael Kubelík’s May 1982 live recording of the Choral with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and a superb line-up of soloists immediately establishes itself among the front-runners for a stereo Ninth, which, although analogue, sounds wholly excellent. Helen Donath, Brigitte Fassbaender, Horst Laubenthal and Hans Sotin make for an ideal team of soloists, blending with the chorus, while in their cadential passages near the end of the work they never sound uncomfortable or hardpressed. As for Kubelík, he brings great weight to the first movement (the central conflagration is stormy beyond belief), and the coda darkens noticeably. A very special Ninth…

Without doubt a great Missa, this, one to place beside Toscanini, Bernstein (with the Concertgebouw) and, among period performances, Gardiner. © 2019 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

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