Related Reviews
The Arts Desk
‘Two masterpieces on a well-produced disc - brilliant music, performed with style.’
more >>
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…’
more >>
Choir & Organ
4 Stars
‘…a vigorously lively performance…under the exacting leadership of Martin Pearlman.’
more >>
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…’
more >>
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.’
more >>
International Record Review
'...superbly rendered...vibrant, idiomatic and fluent...'
more >>
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.’
more >>
Audiophile Audition
5 Stars
'...a wonderful release...can't be recommended highly enough.'
more >>
New York Times
'...rhythmic verve and intensity. A fine quartet of soloists...'
more >>
BBC Music Magazine
'...a vigorous, well paced reading of Haydn's fieriest Mass...'
more >>
Infodad.com
'...how lively and alive that rediscovery has been - and with how much power and wonder...'
more >>
AllMusic.com
‘...precise work on historical instruments, and for clean, bright approach free from mannerism.’
more >>
News Observer
'An engaging Haydn... a vivid, incisive account of this uplifting music.'
more >>
The Obersver
'a unique setting, freshly captured...'
more >>
The Sunday Times
'The orchestra, in both the Mass and the symphony, play with a justified delight in this life-affirming music.'
more >>
Words and Music
Disc of the Day: ‘The disc makes an impact, with its comforting mass and cheerful symphony.’
more >>
Musical Toronto
'A boisterous Haydn Lord Nelson Mass from Boston Baroque...a sparkling performance.'
more >>
Classics Today
'...the big moments in the Gloria and Credo come off so effectively.'
more >>

Boston Baroque - Haydn: Lord Nelson Mass - Boston Globe


08 March 2014
Boston Globe
Jeffrey Gantz

Apart from offering fine performances of two major works by Joseph Haydn, this latest release from Martin Pearlman and Boston Baroque is a document from the days following the Boston Marathon bombings last April. The Mass and the symphony were recorded on the two days after Patriots Day, in Worcester's Mechanics Hall, and then performed at Jordan Hall at the end of the week.

The program for the concert and the recording session had of course been made before the bombings, so the choice of Haydn's "Missa in Angustiis," or "Mass in Troubled Times," as it was originally known, was a remarkable coincidence. Haydn composed it in the summer of 1798, when Napoleon was on the verge of conquering Egypt. Just before the premiere, the news came that Lord Nelson had defeated Napoleon at Aboukir, and the Mass eventually became known as the "Lord Nelson" Mass. But the times were also economically troubled. Haydn's patron, Prince Eszterházy, had recently dismissed his orchestra's woodwinds and horns, so the composer had to make do with trumpets and timpani supplementing the strings.

It's a martial Mass, the timpani erupting at unexpected points, like the beginning of the hushed Sanctus, and Haydn does wonders with triple time, the Kyrie suggesting a triumphant polonaise, the "Qui tollis peccata mundi" of the Gloria a funeral march. 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, though nothing could be more serenely glowing than the "Et incarnatus est" of the Credo.

Pearlman's reading of the symphony, which was composed in London in 1794, is a straightforward affair. It could have more variety in tempo, and Linn's recording, close and sharply focused, could have more atmosphere. The Presto finale, however, with its stop-and-start theme, does full justice to Haydn's wit.


Bookmark and Share


Related Links

Boston BaroqueBoston Baroque
Haydn: Lord Nelson MassHaydn: Lord Nelson Mass