BRUCKNER: Mass No. 3 – Bamberg Sym. /Robin Ticciati – Tudor Classics

by | Jun 16, 2014 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews

BRUCKNER: Mass No. 3 – Bamberg Sym. /Robin Ticciati – Tudor Classics multichannel SACD 7193, 62:11 [Dist. by Naxos] ****:

There are about 50 recordings of the Bruckner Mass No. 3, and this SACD/CD from Tudor is an excellent addition to the constellation of releases.

This Bruckner Mass, the last composed by him in 1867-68 (with many revisions). The three major Bruckner Masses and the composer’s Te Deum are among the composer’s most popular works.  The Masses Nos. 1 and 3 are written for solo singers, chorus and orchestra, while the Mass No. 2 is written for chorus and a small group of wind instruments.

The three Masses preceded his symphonies, and the Third is perhaps the most mature. All of Bruckner’s music is deeply religious. The composer was once described as a ‘God intoxicated man.’  His writing is often epic in scale, yet can be sensitive and evocative of a dimly-lit cathedral.

The 5.1 recording on review here is a very fine effort. The image across the front of orchestra and singers is stable. The back channels present mainly ambiance and tends to enlarge our perception of the work. The dynamics are very well preserved, and I appreciated the precise apparent positioning of the choral forces. Orchestral to choral balances are very good.

Musically, the Bamberg Symphony under the baton of Robin Ticciati is very able to execute this challenging score. Ticciati is a young conductor, born in London but of Italian ancestry. In 2009 he was named principal guest conductor of the Bamberg, and his concert and recorded output has been impressive.

Of other recordings of the Mass, I really like Matthew Best’s with the Corydon singers on Hyperion, but this current recording from the Bamberg is really quite good in terms of performance and sonics.

—Mel Martin

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