Related Reviews
Boston Globe
'Pearlman’s soloists — soprano Mary Wilson, mezzo-soprano Abigail Fischer, tenor Keith Jameson, and bass-baritone Kevin Deas — are an appropriately anguished quartet, and the performance as a whole is a fervent one…'
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The Arts Desk
‘Two masterpieces on a well-produced disc - brilliant music, performed with style.’
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Audiophilia
Recommended New Release: 'The performance of both works has the sprightliness, transparency and precision of line that typically result when baroque specialists play classical-era repertoire; I also love the recording, which adds a touch of warmth…’
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Choir & Organ
4 Stars
‘…a vigorously lively performance…under the exacting leadership of Martin Pearlman.’
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Chorzeit
4 Stars
‘…präsentieren nun Chor und Orchester von Boston Baroque das eigenwillige Werk und machen erneut unmissverständlich klar, dass es für diese Literatur keine Alternative zu alten Instrumenten gibt…’
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The Whole Note
‘Boston Baroque certainly captures the character of those times, deftly alternating huge dynamic ranges that switch from jubilant and boisterous celebration to reflective and prayerful gratitude.’
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International Record Review
'...superbly rendered...vibrant, idiomatic and fluent...'
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Crescendo
‘…ce disque est principalement dominé par une bonne humeur indétrônable. En effet, la jovialité sonore s’entend très distinctement comme elle se devine chez les musiciens heureux à leur instrument.’
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New York Times
'...rhythmic verve and intensity. A fine quartet of soloists...'
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BBC Music Magazine
'...a vigorous, well paced reading of Haydn's fieriest Mass...'
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Infodad.com
'...how lively and alive that rediscovery has been - and with how much power and wonder...'
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AllMusic.com
‘...precise work on historical instruments, and for clean, bright approach free from mannerism.’
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News Observer
'An engaging Haydn... a vivid, incisive account of this uplifting music.'
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The Obersver
'a unique setting, freshly captured...'
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The Sunday Times
'The orchestra, in both the Mass and the symphony, play with a justified delight in this life-affirming music.'
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Words and Music
Disc of the Day: ‘The disc makes an impact, with its comforting mass and cheerful symphony.’
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Musical Toronto
'A boisterous Haydn Lord Nelson Mass from Boston Baroque...a sparkling performance.'
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Classics Today
'...the big moments in the Gloria and Credo come off so effectively.'
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Boston Baroque - Haydn: Lord Nelson Mass - Audiophile Audition


03 January 2014
Audiophile Audition
Steven Ritter
5 Stars

Haydn's Anxiety Mass was written at a very difficult time in Viennese history when Napoleon was at the gates and was then threatening Egypt. Admiral Horatio Nelson put the end to all that after defeating the beleaguered Emperor at Aboukir, and no doubt the trumpets and timpani of this work brought to the populace the association with Nelson's victory, hence the nickname 'Nelson Mass'. Prince Esterhazy, Haydn's employer, had effectively removed any hope of using woodwind players and horns in an effort to cut costs, so Haydn had to be unusually creative in crafting this most Bachian (in terms of orchestration) of works to convey war and the subtleties of impending peace. The work is powerful, almost overwhelmingly so, and since Haydn was sick and confined to bed at the time he wrote it as the fulfillment of a commission for Esterhazy's wife, the piece was completed in one month, hot on the heels of The Creation which had been completed that same year (1798).

...I am most pleased with the results of this Nelson. Its nearest competitor, John Eliot Gardiner (recorded in 1997), is also very good, full of the same punch and deliberateness of effect, lacks the fine surround sound that Linn has given Pearlman, another outcast from the Telarc buy-out. And the soloists are more on top of their game as well in this new issue, with the choir and orchestra of the Boston Baroque every bit the equal of the finest ensembles on record...

The desirability of this recording is only compounded by the terrific reading of the 102nd Symphony, originally the designee of the appellation that became 'Miracle' because of the chandelier crash at one of Haydn's London concerts. It actually happened when No. 102 was being performed, but by some accident of history it was associated - mistakenly - with the performance of the Symphony No. 96 instead. It is easily Haydn's brashest symphony, even though it is hardly his most popular, though perhaps the lack of a 'title' has contributed to this, so common among the later 12 'London' Symphonies. But it is fully the equal of any of the other twelve miracles of composition that make up Haydn's last efforts in the genre, and Pearlman and forces give it a splendid go, full of pizzazz and captivating lyricism and phrasing.

This is a wonderful release, hopefully presaging some more to come, and can't be recommended highly enough.


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