Missa Solemnis - Favourite Versions

(Tony Casey) #21

One bargain basement version that is easy to overlook is the Ormandy Sony Essentials. I found an old copy in a S/H store in Dublin. Forget I had it at the bottom of a suitcase. Leonard doesn’t like it so I knew I was in for a treat. Wasn’t disappointed.


Gramophone reviews, I’d like that! Now THAT would be a way of compensating a bit for the lack of good handling of classical music in Roon! :slight_smile:

(Geoff Coupe) #23

Yeah, but looking at the subscription prices, perhaps the business case doesn’t pan out for Roon Labs, even at institutional rates.


Perhaps… Don’t know Geoff, can’t imagine it would be more expensive than Rovi / AllMusic. In any case, I’d support at least investigating it, rather than making assumptions :slight_smile:

(Geoff Coupe) #25

It’s already been raised in the Feature Requests forum, so the Roon team are certainly aware of it…


Ah, thanks! Sorry, missed that.

(Tony Casey) #27

Revisiting this work I am finding myself responding more to the immediacy of live performances. This traditional performance from Eschenbach and the LPO on modern instruments (2008 I think) is really moving.

I’m away from home so I cannot comment on the reviewers technical quibbles about the stereo separation but the musicality just bursts out even from a chromecast TV.

(Andrew Cox) #28

The Suzuki is on Tidal, It’s the next on my list:


Surprised no one has mentioned the earlier Karajan.

(Tony Casey) #30

Karajan did quite a few Missa solemnis. There doesn’t seem to be reviews for any of them on allmusic. I have the 1985 one but it’s not one I carry around with me, so this is from memory.

Mostly, I like Karajan as many do. But with some music I find his more sentimental style doesn’t really work and I find myself reaching for the more austere, more academic presentation of some of his contemporaries like Karl Böhm. I cannot comment on the other Karajan’s but from what I remember the pacing of the 1985 is not quite right and the dynamics are distracting. It’s difficult to put your finger on these things but you know when you are not connecting. Others may have a completely different view and that’s fine as well. This old review from Grammophone says it better than I can.


(Tony Casey) #31

That is almost tempting me to sign up to Tidal but I thought I’d just wait for Quobuz. :slight_smile:



(Tony Casey) #34

Two fine choices. I hadn’t realised I had the 1995 Herreweghe with me because it’s squirreled away on disc 25 of the Harmonia Mundi sacred Cornerstones. Roon did find it from the composition page. I don’t think I would have tried hunting it down from the box page. A much more typical period instrument version than the second one. The recording sounds a little distant to me but that’s probably because I only have a 320/MP3 version on my laptop.

The second one gets really close to the holy grail of combining the detail and clarity of the period instrument and small forces approach and the grandeur of the modern instruments and large forces approach. Just a tad slow in the pacing for me but you get used to it and don’t notice by the time you get to the spectacular gloria.


I agree with your observations, although I must confess the Klemperer and the Gardiner are also favourites of mine. I have the Klemperer in several incarnations, my first version ever being the 1997 EMI remaster.

A terrible batch, also including Casals’s Bach Cello Suites (bought that one in Parma, Italy :slight_smile: ) In their centenary year, EMI sucked the life out of nearly all their remasters. The 2012 hires remaster sound much better IMO.

(Tony Casey) #36

Maybe the best one to orient yourself to the shear complexity of the unblinking eye of an increasingly deaf Beethoven is the 1988 Robert Shaw. Beethoven was 50 by this time.

There is no allmusic review but that doesn’t mean there is no story behind it.

This is a traditional interpretation from roughly the same time as the 1985 Karajan but just before the revelatory 1990 period instruments Gardiner. Robert Shaw won the Gramophone Choral Record of the Year for his Verdi Requiem that year. But just a little googling and you will see that Shaw had a purple patch in 1988 and if he had been able to submit a review copy soon enough he would have won a record of the year for this recording instead.

I cannot make a link as I need a Grammophone subscription so I will make this link instead.


My own view is I really like this one. Anyone that likes straight up Jazz will like this. It’s done straight up, just right, a real Goldilocks Missa solemnis.

(Gerald Richardson) #37

My two favorites.
RoonShareImage-636747098746661645 RoonShareImage-636747099033801828

(Tony Casey) #38

That’s two recommendations for the Benstein now. I look forward to that one when I get home. the Jochum has long been on my shopping list. I guess now is as good a time as any to crack.

(Tony Casey) #39

I post the 1973 Masur not because it is a favorite. Too brisk for me. 1hr 14mins vs Klemperer’s 1hr 19mins for example. But Leonard’s bonkers rant led me to revisit a real gem.

For me, it is the humanity of the work that is the point so I dug out a little played Jeffrey Tate from 1990. An absolutely sparkling master but perhaps it’s Tate’s lifetime of struggle that connects him so profoundly to Beethoven’s struggle. A humbling Missa solemnis.

There is no allmusic review so I thought I would post this instead.

(Andrew Cox) #40

The 1940 Toscanini is available on Tidal:

There is a lot to like here, but the soloists are very far down in the mix. I’m enjoying it as a reference that all later conductors would have listened to, but the recording is obviously of its time. The massed choir sounds huge though and Toscanini revels in the dynamics.