Of his numbered masses, Anton Bruckner's Mass No. 3 in F minor is the most expansive and symphonic, as well as the most recognizable in style, and it is generally regarded as his finest work before he moved to Vienna and concentrated on composing symphonies. Written for a quartet of vocal soloists, a four-part choir, organ, and orchestra, it is rich in vocal textures and instrumental sonorities, and the highly contrapuntal music anticipates the chorales and fugues that dominate Bruckner's later symphonies, though their presence here is more organic and integrated with the liturgical text. In this 2014 Tudor hybrid SACD release by Robin Ticciati and the Bamberg Symphony, the singing receives focused attention, and soprano Elisabeth Müller, alto Anke Vondung, tenor Dominik Wortig, and bass Franz-Josef Selig are prominently featured in their solos and ensembles, while the Bavarian Radio Choir carries the bulk of the music and maintains a strong presence throughout. However, the orchestra is an essential part of the expression, and Ticciati strikes a balance between its accompanimental role and its independent contributions to the moods and coloration of the Mass. The multichannel format gives the music adequate spatial depth and captures the resonance of the Bamberg Concert Hall, so the musicians have great clarity despite the large size of the choir and orchestra.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Messe No. 3 in F-Moll, für soli, chor und orchester|