Mozart: Mass in C Minor, KV.427 (1783). Haydn: Missa Sancti Nicolai, Hob.22:6 (1772)
The Tafelmusk Orchestra & Chamber Choir, Ivars Taurins, conductor
Karina Gauvin, soprano; Laura Pudwell, mezzo; David Arnot, tenor; Brian McMillan, baritone
Trinity-St. Paul Centre
May 23, 2004
Thrilling. Magnificent. Divine. It's a shame that this music is no longer performed --- and appreciated in a more solemn context. In this lazy and pretty weekend evening, people come to Trinity-St. Paul church, tentatively renamed 'Trinity-St. Paul Centre', for just another pleasant baroque concert, what is here for them, on the other hand, is a sublime performance that urges spiritual awakening, urges courageous look into the depth, darkness and tragedy of human existence, and at the same time, offers grand drama and rich Mozartian sensual beauty --- there are even comic turns in this music tragedy at times.
And the mesmerized audience, when the last note of this unfinished work expired, jump to their feet, offering the artists their genuine gratitude with their thundering applause and ovation.
This is the most grandiose, dramatic and aesthetically complex Mozart works I have ever experienced. The extended elaboration of Gloria is breathtaking. The unfinished work comes to the end on a dark note, abruptly, yet ...
The soloists’ artistry is not only in their physical presentation and technique, but also in their heart. Every corner of the orchestra and chorus are genuinely responsive, emitting beauty, passion, and altogether, drama. Under Ivas Taurins's baton, the music-making is brisk yet resonant, clear yet dramatically rich.
The late spring's lightening outside the huge windows of the church doesn’t diminish the grand drama inside a little bit.
I always know by heart that Mozart is great, always know by popular reputation that Mozart is known to be great, yet this mesmerizing experience is still unexpected.
According to the booklet, the music, ' ... inspired in part by Mozart's study of J.S. Bach and Handel, and in part by the virtuoso arias of Italian opera (indeed!), stylistically the work is a summation of the entire eighteen century.'
Before Mozart's Mass in C Minor, Haydn's Missa Sancto Nicolai is also performed. If we erase the concept of classical period in music history, we may say this scared work of Haydn’s belongs to the age of Rococo, when Mozart’s work is Romantic in nature.
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