For Your Listening Pleasure—Bruckner Mass No. 3 in F Minor

Bruckner Mass No. 3 in F Minor

Eugen Jochum

Eugen Jochum, Masses Nos. 1-3, DG 0289 447 4092 9

I grew up with LPs of Eugen Jochum’s recordings of Bruckner’s Masses from the 1960’s and early 1970’s—recordings that are still available re-mastered on CD or by digital download (DG 0289 447 4092 9). The performance of the F minor Mass is still as taught and glowing as ever, with a wonderful arc to the pacing—especially through the big Gloria and Credo compound movements. Though the sound is rather on the compressed side when compared to contemporary recordings, the reading is well worth having as a cornerstone to your Bruckner choral library.

Matthew Best

Matthew Best, Helios CDH55332

Matthew Best and his Corydon Singers and Orchestra present one of the most satisfying of the contemporary recordings available (though even this recording is now 20 years old!: Helios CDH55332, or you may be able to find used versions on the Hyperion label CDA66599). Jean Rigby is arresting in the mezzo-soprano solos, and tenor John Mark Ainsley sings with a dramatic range of color and heft. The Corydon Singers, as always, are perfect in ensemble, intonation, blend when needed (the piannisimo passages are breathtaking), and vibrant, fruity color when the music demands it.

Other recordings

There are other excellent recordings available conducted by Celibidache (Munich Philharmonic Orchestra & Choir on EMI), Rilling (Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart & Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart on Hänssler), and Davis (Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir on Philips).

Stephen Sano
January 2012