Two of Mozart’s choral masterpieces are given their due in the place of their 1776 premieres by early music specialist Nikolaus Harnoncourt and his hand picked group, Concentus Musicus Wien.
A celestial reading of Beethoven’s solemn mass by maestro Harnoncourt and a marvelous vocal quartet and chorus. The Missa Solemnis does not get much better than this inspired performance.
The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and its assembled soloists and choirs gives us an inspired performance, directed by Ivan Fischer. Excellent visual and audio recording makes this a disc worth owning.
In commemoration of its debut 50 years ago, Arthaus Musik has released a stunning Blu-ray version of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem. Andris Nelsons directs a strong group of soloists, and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in a moving performance that gets my nod as one of the must-watch discs of the year.
The Bach St. Matthew Passion is given an authentic performance, complete with boys’ choir, in Bach’s own church. Sight and sound are simply awe-inspiring in this Accentus Music 2012 recording.
Christof Loy’s unconventional production of Handel’s oratorio Theodora is a stunning 3-hours of sight and sound. A superb cast and orchestra are ably led by Ivor Bolton in this 2009 Salzburg Festival performance.