Mezzo-Soprano: Wilke te Brummelstroete
Tenor: Zeger Vandersteene
Bass: Jelle Draijer
Choir: Netherlands Chamber Choir
Orchestra: Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century
Conductor: Frans Brüggen
Date: March 20, 1998
Venue: Metropolitan Art Space, Tokyo, Japan
Cat No.: 921105
Released: January 5, 1999
The coupling of Mozart’s Catholic and Masonic funeral music has already been done on disc by Parrott and Norrington, but it is rather less appropriate than it might seem superficially (neither Harnoncourt nor Kegel included it in complete sets of sacred music). The Requiem has also been filled out with Gregorian chant on at least two earlier recordings: the John F. Kennedy commemoration in Boston in January 1964 (RCA Victor) and a Mozart anniversary Mass in Tokyo in December 1965 (Japanese London). The parts of the Mass that might have been set by Mozart but were not are the Gradual and Tract. On this disc the Gradual is still missing, but the chant Tract is sung. It is misplaced between the Sequence and the Offertory. On the other hand, Mozart’s Introit is preceded by the chant setting while his Offertory is followed by the chant setting. There is no point to these duplications, although they are beautifully sung in the latest chant style (not a style that Mozart would have recognized).
The main work is exquisitely rendered. The tempos are not nearly as rushed as other early-music performers have given us. The soloists (only tenor Zeger Vandersteene is a familiar name) are competent but not quite equal to the very best. The music moves with a strong rhythmic snap without being rushed. The chorus is clearly the featured part of the ensemble.
Except for the duplicate chant insertions, this is a satisfying disc in a crowded field.
— J. F. Weber, Fanfare