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Kristjan Järvi - Mass

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Mass

Leonard Bernstein

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As an artifact of the 1970s, Leonard Bernstein's theater piece Mass is freighted with subject matter that may seem remote today and is framed in musical styles that are for the most part quite passé. The then-current issues of the Vietnam war, protest politics, social pressures, sexual mores, theological crises, and ecumenical outreach that are the grist of this polystylistic work -- all couched in an elaborate setting of the Latin text of the Roman Catholic liturgy -- speak to the relative innocence of the time, for they were considered shocking in some quarters, especially for being placed in the context of a sacred ritual. But as dated as Mass is by its once-controversial material, its pastiches of popular musical styles really locked it into its time period: with brassy pop-rock, electric urban blues, Broadway showtunes, acoustic folk, and circus music all competing to be heard alongside chorales, tape collages, instrumental meditations, and an extended stream-of-consciousness mad scene worthy of Lucia di Lammermoor, Mass almost sinks under its excess of musical references and its composer's heavy-handed ambition to use every style he could lay his hands on. But Bernstein's charisma, along with his special artistic gifts, made Mass a unique experiment that continues to fascinate, even while it evokes nostalgia for fans and causes critical bemusement. For a piece so dependent on its era to be understood, it has surprising staying power. Since Bernstein's own 1971 recording appeared on Columbia Masterworks and then on Sony, there have been two major revivals of Mass released on disc: Kent Nagano's 2003 recording on Harmonia Mundi and Kristjan Järvi's 2006 recording on Chandos. While Nagano's was a valiant effort, it was a disappointment because it was rather sterile in its imitation of the original and lacking in passion. Järvi's version is even closer in imitating Bernstein and is better in conveying emotion, though it is not up to the intensity of the premiere recording. Randall Scarlata is earnest as the Celebrant and seems more appropriately cast than Jerry Hadley was in Nagano's performance, though both singers were stuck with the unenviable task of re-creating a role that Alan Titus delivered with intense sincerity and raw vulnerability; any other interpretation has to walk a fine line between honest emulation and crass imitation. This performance also features the Viennese ensemble Company of Music, the Munich and Upper Bavarian Tölzer Knabenchor, and the Austrian Chorus sine nomine, so the noticeable German accents give this performance a strange Teutonic feeling. Supported by the Absolute Ensemble and the Tonkünstler Orchester, the various solo singers and choral groups are quite spirited in both the sacred and profane numbers, though they all seem over-rehearsed and bit scared to deviate from the norms established by Bernstein. Because the first recording still dominates its competition, its uniqueness as a product of its time is only reinforced, and any new attempts to perform Mass will be judged against it, a fitting testimonial to its compelling emotional qualities, if not necessarily to its topics or musical content.
© TiVo

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Mass

Kristjan Järvi

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Mass (Leonard Bernstein)

1
Mass: Devotions before Mass: Antiphon. Kyrie eleison (High Soprano, Bass, Soprano 2, Alto, Tenor, Baritone)
Randall Scarlata
00:01:58

Jennifer O’Loughlin, high soprano - Günter Haumer, bass - Barbara Achammer, second soprano - Heidemaria Gruber, alto - Gernot Heinrich (tenor - Günter Haumer, baritone) - Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich - Kristjan Järvi, conductor

(C) 2009 Chandos (P) 2009 Chandos

2
Mass: Devotions before Mass: Hymn and Psalm, "a Simple Song" (Celebrant)
Randall Scarlata
00:04:33

Randall Scarlata (Celebrant) - Sonja Korak, flute solo - Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich - Kristjan Järvi, conductor

(C) 2009 Chandos (P) 2009 Chandos

3
Mass: Devotions before Mass: Responsory, "Alleluia" (Soprano 1, Soprano 2, Alto, Tenor, Baritone, Bass)
Randall Scarlata
00:01:10

Barbara Achammer, soprano 1 - Heidemaria Gruber, soprano 2 - Susanne Hell, alto - Bernd Hemedinger, tenor - Bernd Fröhlich, baritone - Günter Haumer, bass - Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich - Kristjan Järvi, conductor

(C) 2009 Chandos (P) 2009 Chandos

4
Mass: First Introit. Prefatory Prayers (Street Chorus, Soprano, Celebrant, Boy Soprano, Boys' Choir)
Randall Scarlata
00:04:58

Company of Music (Street Chorus) - Barbara Achammer & Heidemaria Gruber, soprano solos - Ruth Kraus, solo soprano - Randall Scarlata (Celebrant) - Georg Drexel, solo boy soprano - Tölzer Knabenchor (Boys’ Choir) - Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich - Kristjan Järvi, conductor

(C) 2009 Chandos (P) 2009 Chandos

5
Mass: First Introit. Thrice-Triple Canon: Dominus vobiscum (Celebrant, Boys' Choir, Street Chorus)
Randall Scarlata
00:00:36

Randall Scarlata (Celebrant) - Tölzer Knabenchor (Boys’ Choir) - Company of Music (Street Chorus) - Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich - Kristjan Järvi, conductor

(C) 2009 Chandos (P) 2009 Chandos

6
Mass: Second Introit. In nomine Patris (Chorus, Celebrant)
Randall Scarlata
00:01:51

Members of Tölzer Knabenchor, Chorus sine nomine (Chorus) - Randall Scarlata (Celebrant) - Reinhard Wagner, horn - Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich - Kristjan Järvi, conductor

(C) 2009 Chandos (P) 2009 Chandos

7
Mass: Second Introit. Prayer for the Congregation, "Almighty Father" (Boys' Choir, Chorus)
Randall Scarlata
00:01:30

Tölzer Knabenchor (Boys’ Choir) - Chorus sine nomine (Chorus) - Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich - Kristjan Järvi, conductor

(C) 2009 Chandos (P) 2009 Chandos

8
Mass: Second Introit. Epiphany (Celebrant)
Randall Scarlata
00:00:52

Barbara Ritter, oboe solo - Randall Scarlata (Celebrant) - Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich - Kristjan Järvi, conductor

(C) 2009 Chandos (P) 2009 Chandos

9
Mass: Confession: Confiteor (Chorus)
Randall Scarlata
00:01:59

Chorus sine nomine - Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich - Kristjan Järvi, conductor

(C) 2009 Chandos (P) 2009 Chandos

10
Mass: Confession: Trope, "I Don't Know" (First Rock Singer, Descant, Second Rock Singer)
Randall Scarlata
00:01:29

Reinwald Kranner (first rock singer and descant) - Dave Moskin (second rock singer) - Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich - Kristjan Järvi, conductor

(C) 2009 Chandos (P) 2009 Chandos

11
Mass: Confession: Trope, "Easy" (Blues Singers, Rock Singers, Descant, Celebrant, Chorus)
Randall Scarlata
00:04:59

André Bauer (first blues singer) - Dave Moskin (second rock singer) - Lenneke Willemsen (second blues singer) - Bernd Fröhlich (third rock singer) - André Bauer (third blues singer) - Reinwald Kranner (first rock singer and descant) - Randall Scarlata (Celebrant) - Chorus sine nomine (Chorus) - Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich - Kristjan Järvi, conductor

(C) 2009 Chandos (P) 2009 Chandos

12
Mass: Meditation No. 1
Randall Scarlata
00:05:23

Alexander Gheorghiu & Vahid Khadem-Missagh, violin solos - Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich - Kristjan Järvi, conductor

(C) 2009 Chandos (P) 2009 Chandos

13
Mass: Gloria. Gloria tibi (Celebrant, Boys' Choir)
Randall Scarlata
00:01:35

Randall Scarlata (Celebrant) - Tölzer Knabenchor - Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich - Kristjan Järvi, conductor

(C) 2009 Chandos (P) 2009 Chandos

14
Mass: Gloria. Gloria in Excelsis (Chorus)
Randall Scarlata
00:01:16

Chorus sine nomine - Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich - Kristjan Järvi, conductor

(C) 2009 Chandos (P) 2009 Chandos

15
Mass: Gloria. Trope, "Half of the People" (Street Chorus, Chorus)
Randall Scarlata
00:01:01

Company of Music - Chorus sine nomine - Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich - Kristjan Järvi, conductor

(C) 2009 Chandos (P) 2009 Chandos

16
Mass: Gloria. Trope, "Thank You" (Soprano, Street Chorus)
Randall Scarlata
00:02:48

Ruth Kraus, soprano solo - Company of Music - Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich - Kristjan Järvi, conductor

(C) 2009 Chandos (P) 2009 Chandos

17
Mass: Meditation No. 2
Randall Scarlata
00:04:09

Orfeo Mandozzi, cello solo - Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich - Kristjan Järvi, conductor

(C) 2009 Chandos (P) 2009 Chandos

DISC 2

1
Mass: Epistle: "the Word of the Lord" (Celebrant, Voice 1, Voice 2, Voice 3, Voice 4, Street Chorus)
Randall Scarlata
00:05:31

Randall Scarlata (Celebrant) - Bernd Fröhlich (voice 1) - Kristjan Järvi (voice 2) - Dave Moskin (voice 3) - Suzanne Gassner (voice 4) - Company of Music - Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich - Kristjan Järvi, conductor

(C) 2009 Chandos (P) 2009 Chandos

2
Mass: Gospel-Sermon: "God Said" (Preacher, Solo Voices, Street Chorus)
Randall Scarlata
00:04:44

Bernd Fröhlich (preacher) - Gernot Heinrich, Lenneke Willemsen, Bernd Hemedinger, Heidemaria Gruber, Christoph Wiegelbeyer (solo voices) - Company of Music - Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich - Kristjan Järvi, conductor

(C) 2009 Chandos (P) 2009 Chandos

3
Mass: Credo. Credo in unum Deum (Celebrant, Chorus)
Randall Scarlata
00:00:58

Randall Scarlata (Celebrant) - Chorus sine nomine - Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich - Kristjan Järvi, conductor

(C) 2009 Chandos (P) 2009 Chandos

4
Mass: Credo. Trope, "Non Credo" (Baritone, Street Chorus) - Crucifixus [Chorus]
Randall Scarlata
00:02:09

André Bauer (baritone solo) - Company of Music - Chorus sine nomine - Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich - Kristjan Järvi, conductor

(C) 2009 Chandos (P) 2009 Chandos

5
Mass: Credo. Trope, "Hurry" (Mezzo-soprano) - Sedet ad dexteram Patris [Chorus]
Randall Scarlata
00:01:16

Heidemaria Gruber, mezzo-soprano solo - Chorus sine nomine - Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich - Kristjan Järvi, conductor

(C) 2009 Chandos (P) 2009 Chandos

6
Mass: Credo. Trope, "World without End" (Mezzo-soprano) - Et in Spiritum Sanctum [Chorus]
Randall Scarlata
00:01:29

Ruth Kraus, mezzo-soprano solo - Chorus sine nomine (Chorus) - André Bauer (solo 1) - Heidemaria Gruber (solo 2) - Ruth Kraus (solo 3) - Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich - Kristjan Järvi, conductor

(C) 2009 Chandos (P) 2009 Chandos

7
Mass: Credo. Trope, "I Believe in God" (Rock Singer, Street Chorus, Chorus)
Randall Scarlata
00:02:05

Dave Moskin (rock singer) - Company of Music - Chorus sine nomine - Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich - Kristjan Järvi, conductor

(C) 2009 Chandos (P) 2009 Chandos

8
Mass: Meditation No. 3
Randall Scarlata
00:02:37

Chorus sine nomine - Randall Scarlata (Celebrant) - Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich - Kristjan Järvi, conductor

(C) 2009 Chandos (P) 2009 Chandos

9
Mass: Offertory (Boys' Choir, Chorus)
Randall Scarlata
00:02:05

Tölzer Knabenchor - Chorus sine nomine - Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich - Kristjan Järvi, conductor

(C) 2009 Chandos (P) 2009 Chandos

10
Mass: The Lord's Prayer: Our Father … (Celebrant)
Randall Scarlata
00:01:43

Randall Scarlata (Celebrant and piano) - Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich - Kristjan Järvi, conductor

(C) 2009 Chandos (P) 2009 Chandos

11
Mass: The Lord's Prayer: Trope, "I Go On" (Celebrant)
Randall Scarlata
00:03:22

Randall Scarlata (Celebrant) - Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich - Kristjan Järvi, conductor

(C) 2009 Chandos (P) 2009 Chandos

12
Mass: Sanctus (Celebrant, Counter-tenors, Boys' Choir, Street Chorus)
Randall Scarlata
00:05:07

Randall Scarlata (Celebrant) - Bernd Hemedinger, Gernot Heinrich, Bernd Fröhlich (counter-tenors) - Tölzer Knabenchor (Boys’ Choir) - Company of Music (Street Chorus) - Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich - Kristjan Järvi, conductor

(C) 2009 Chandos (P) 2009 Chandos

13
Mass: Agnus Dei (Celebrant, Street Chorus, Chorus)
Randall Scarlata
00:06:35

Randall Scarlata (Celebrant) - Vesselin Gellev, violin solo - Matt Herskowitz, keyboards - Michael Seltzer, trombone - Mat Fieldes, bass guitar - Damien Bassman, drum kit - Company of Music - Chorus sine nomine - Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich - Kristjan Järvi, conductor

(C) 2009 Chandos (P) 2009 Chandos

14
Mass: Fraction: "Things Get Broken" (Celebrant)
Randall Scarlata
00:15:31

Randall Scarlata (Celebrant) - Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich - Kristjan Järvi, conductor

(C) 2009 Chandos (P) 2009 Chandos

15
Mass: Pax: Communion, "Secret Songs" (Boy Soprano, Celebrant, Sopranos, Tenors, Street Chorus, Chorus)
Randall Scarlata
00:09:28

Sonja Korak, flute solo - Georg Drexel, solo boy soprano - Randall Scarlata, Celebrant - Theresa Dlouhy, soprano solo 1 - Gernot Heinrich, tenor solo 1 - Claudia Meller, soprano solo 2 - Bernd Fröhlich, tenor solo 2 - Barbara Achammer, soprano solo 3 - Gernot Heinrich, tenor solo 3 - Company of Music, Street Chorus - Chorus sine nomine - Philip Traugott, pre-recorded voice at end - Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich - Kristjan Järvi, conductor

(C) 2009 Chandos (P) 2009 Chandos

Albumbeschreibung

As an artifact of the 1970s, Leonard Bernstein's theater piece Mass is freighted with subject matter that may seem remote today and is framed in musical styles that are for the most part quite passé. The then-current issues of the Vietnam war, protest politics, social pressures, sexual mores, theological crises, and ecumenical outreach that are the grist of this polystylistic work -- all couched in an elaborate setting of the Latin text of the Roman Catholic liturgy -- speak to the relative innocence of the time, for they were considered shocking in some quarters, especially for being placed in the context of a sacred ritual. But as dated as Mass is by its once-controversial material, its pastiches of popular musical styles really locked it into its time period: with brassy pop-rock, electric urban blues, Broadway showtunes, acoustic folk, and circus music all competing to be heard alongside chorales, tape collages, instrumental meditations, and an extended stream-of-consciousness mad scene worthy of Lucia di Lammermoor, Mass almost sinks under its excess of musical references and its composer's heavy-handed ambition to use every style he could lay his hands on. But Bernstein's charisma, along with his special artistic gifts, made Mass a unique experiment that continues to fascinate, even while it evokes nostalgia for fans and causes critical bemusement. For a piece so dependent on its era to be understood, it has surprising staying power. Since Bernstein's own 1971 recording appeared on Columbia Masterworks and then on Sony, there have been two major revivals of Mass released on disc: Kent Nagano's 2003 recording on Harmonia Mundi and Kristjan Järvi's 2006 recording on Chandos. While Nagano's was a valiant effort, it was a disappointment because it was rather sterile in its imitation of the original and lacking in passion. Järvi's version is even closer in imitating Bernstein and is better in conveying emotion, though it is not up to the intensity of the premiere recording. Randall Scarlata is earnest as the Celebrant and seems more appropriately cast than Jerry Hadley was in Nagano's performance, though both singers were stuck with the unenviable task of re-creating a role that Alan Titus delivered with intense sincerity and raw vulnerability; any other interpretation has to walk a fine line between honest emulation and crass imitation. This performance also features the Viennese ensemble Company of Music, the Munich and Upper Bavarian Tölzer Knabenchor, and the Austrian Chorus sine nomine, so the noticeable German accents give this performance a strange Teutonic feeling. Supported by the Absolute Ensemble and the Tonkünstler Orchester, the various solo singers and choral groups are quite spirited in both the sacred and profane numbers, though they all seem over-rehearsed and bit scared to deviate from the norms established by Bernstein. Because the first recording still dominates its competition, its uniqueness as a product of its time is only reinforced, and any new attempts to perform Mass will be judged against it, a fitting testimonial to its compelling emotional qualities, if not necessarily to its topics or musical content.
© TiVo

Informationen zur Originalaufnahme : 42:15 - 64:52 - DDD - Enregistré du 16 au 21 février 2006 à Sankt Pölten en Autriche - Notes en français, anglais et allemand avec les textes chantés en anglais ou latin

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