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Mozart: The Great Mass · A Ballet by Uwe Scholz

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART Mass in C minor, K427/K417a, 'Great Mass' (1782/83)
Adagio and Fugue in C minor, K546; Ave verum corpus in D, K618
Gregorian Chant: Thomas JAHN Orte und Zeiten – No. 2; Interludium: Viele Länder durchfuhr ich.
Gyorgy KURTÁG Flowers we are, mere flowers; Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir, BWV687 Bach, arr. Kurtag); Play with overtones; ... and once more: Flower we are ...; Beating – Quarreling; Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit, BWV106 (Bach, arr. Kurtag); Furious Chorale; Palm Stroke; Aus der Ferne.
Arvo PÄRT Credo (1968).

Kiyoko Kimura · Christoph Bohm · Oksana Kulchytska Leipzig Ballet
Eunyee You, soprano · Marie-Claude Chappuis, soprano Werner Gura, tenor · Friedemann Rohlig, bass
Choir of the Leipzig Opera · Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Balazs Kocsar, conductor

Recorded live at the Leipzig Opera, Leipzig, June 2005: 130 mins

EuroArts : 2054608

Two totally different experiences of Mozart's Mass in C minor persuade me that it is indeed "Great" and more so than the more famous Requiem, which carries the baggage of mystery in its genesis and the composer's death before its completion.

At Lucerne we experienced it last summer in a liturgical context, in the large, ornate Jesuit Church, completely packed for High Mass with Mozart's C minor Mass given in fine style, Barbara Locher memorable in the famously demanding Et incarnatus est.

It was long, as - so differently - is this two hour ballet of Uwe Scholz (1958-2004), given as a memorial to a great choreographer by Leipzig forces.

It was played without an interval (to complaints by some ballet reviewers). Certainly the DVD provides ample opportunities to take one or two breaks.

Approached from a musical standpoint, this is a fine account of the Mass itself, punctuated by brilliantly conceived interludes of significant contemporary music, notably of Kurtag & Jahn, and too Bach, for which the white of Scholz's Mozart gives way to darker hues.

We found it wholly engrossing and indeed moving, and the filming is respectful of the music and the primacy of the ballet on this occasion. we do see the choir and orchestra from time to time, and the excellent solo singers (Eunyee You here for that Et incarnatus est).

Lighting is also excellent and contributes to the special feeling; often the figures are shown very small, so the Blu-ray version is recommended.

A great DVD, recommended to our readers with strongest enthusiasm.

Peter Grahame Woolf