Bruckner, Corydon Singers - Mass In F Minor, Psalm 150

Monday 1st February 1993
Bruckner, Corydon Singers - Mass In F Minor, Psalm 150

STYLE: Choral
RATING 5 5 5 5 5
LABEL: Hyperion 66599

Reviewed by Dave Massey

Like most things that the classical composers did, this mass is on a grand scale and even in Bruckner's time it caused something of a stir if not outright horror in some parts of the Catholic Church among those concerned with preserving the 'purity' of the mass as well as its simplicity. Although Bruckner shaped this mass into an almost symphonic form, with themes that are recapitulated and developed, he never lost sight of the texts he was setting or subordinated them to the music. In fact, as the sleeve notes supply, he was deeply religious and inscribed at the head of the F minor score 'O A M D G' (Omnia ad Majoram Dei Gloriam' - 'All to the greater glory of God'). The result is a musical work that is well rounded and despite the fears of the church at the time, sensitive to the lyrical content. The Corydon Choir and singers offer an able and well crafted performance, especially on the expressive and dynamic Credo movements, as do John Mark Ainsly (tenor) and Gwynne Howell (bass) but the soprano (Juliet Booth) always seemed to be expending a great amount of effort for limited rewards and as she appears early on the disc in the 'kyrie' it was a little off-putting for me. A creditable performance though, on the whole.

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