Chamber Choir of Europe / Nicol Matt

Mozart: Sacred Music

  • AllMusic Rating
    7
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

The Brilliant label, from the Netherlands, has inundated the Western world with its giant budget boxes. What might be called bulk classical has intrinsic virtues and negatives, but like anything else it can be done well or done poorly. This Mozart box contains no fewer than 15 CDs, at just over five dollars a disc. It contains every piece of sacred music Mozart ever wrote, including large volumes of the rarely heard liturgical music Mozart wrote in Salzburg in his youth, diverging strikingly from the academic exercises on which anyone else would have relied. The music was recorded in the early 2000s, all with the same choir -- the youthful Chamber Choir of Europe -- joined by a variety of regional German orchestras and soloists under the choir's director, Nicol Matt. To bring this much music together is a noteworthy feat in itself, and Matt's collection is both exhaustive and consistent. The bright, warm colors of the choir, which is mostly Germanic although international in concept, deliver a basic modern-instrument German style -- rounded, blended, sunny, and disinclined toward sharp attacks and drama of any kind -- in a fresh, attractive way. The choir is especially lively and effective in the early Mozart music that will probably cause most listeners to seek out this set. In a big work like the Great Mass in C minor, K. 427, you can do better when it comes to soloists, but there are few sore points. One is the booklet, which might be called demi-gluteal. It starts out giving texts and then shifts without warning to work descriptions starting with CD 8, ignoring the early service music where most listeners will be most in need of guidance. Any single part of this disc may be covered more convincingly and with greater illumination elsewhere, but for those who want all of Mozart's sacred music in a single package, this one raises few objections.

Track Listing - Disc 6

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Mass No. 4 for soloists, chorus & orchestra in C minor (missa solemnis, "Waisenhausmesse"), K. 139 (K. 47a)
1
4:04
2
1:05
3
2:16
4
0:42
5
1:50
6
1:16
7
1:52
8
1:50
9
2:10
10
2:34
11
2:06
12
2:59
13
2:00
14
1:24
15
1:51
16
0:54
17
2:19
18
1:53
19
2:47
20
3:55
21
2:00
Mass No. 2 for soloists, chorus & orchestra in D minor (missa brevis), K. 65 (K. 61a)
22
1:34
23
2:11
24
4:55
25
0:56
26
1:17
27
2:06

Track Listing - Disc 7

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Mass No. 3 for soloists, chorus & orchestra in C major ("Dominicus"), K. 66
1
3:37
2
0:29
3
2:48
4
1:03
5
2:40
6
3:15
7
4:06
8
2:49
9
2:06
10
3:40
11
2:14
12
1:10
13
3:01
14
1:42
15
2:14
16
2:26
17
2:23
18
4:30
Mass No. 1 for soloists, chorus & orchestra in G major (missa brevis), K. 49 (K. 47d)
19
1:28
20
3:24
21
7:21
22
1:29
23
1:43
24
2:27
25
2:16

Track Listing - Disc 12

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Scande coeli limina, offertory for soprano, chorus & orchestra, K. 34
1
3:06
2
1:42
3
5:46
Benedictus sit Deus, offertory for soprano, chorus & orchestra, K. 117 (K. 66a)
4
1:41
5
3:57
6
1:59
7
4:18
8
7:36
9
4:58
10
5:18
11
0:56
Miserere, for soloists & continuo, K. 85 (K. 73s)
12
0:34
13
1:00
14
0:59
15
0:46
16
0:54
17
0:42
18
0:51
19
1:29
20
1:28
21
1:46
22
9:05
blue highlight denotes track pick