Leopold Mozart: Missa Solemnis (CD)

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Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie, Das Vokalprojekt, Alessandro De Marchi

“Right after God comes my Papa.” These were young Wolfgang’s words of praise for his father Leopold Mozart. 2019 is the anniversary of Leopold that Aparté celebrate with a gorgeous recording of his Missa Solemnis.

Alessandro de Marchi, who ran the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music right after René Jacobs, conducts the beautiful Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie from Augsburg, where Leopold was born.

By paying homage to the father, the disc puts an end to the eternal inequality of treatment, saving the father from collective oblivion and worldwide overshadowing by the child prodigy. For a long time, the Missa Solemnis haunted Wolfgang’s catalogue but we now know for sure that it’s Leopold’s.

Committed to the Leopold legacy owing to his native city of Augsburg, the Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie - together with the Das Vokalprojekt choir - approach this work afresh.

They find in Alessandro de Marchi an ally and passionate champion of unknown works, who knows how to highlight the Neapolitan subtleties from the strict contrapuntal style of this mass. For those who are desperately rummaging the secondhand market to find the only out of print recording of the Missa from 1982, an invaluable record is now available.

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Mozart, L: Missa Solemnis

Sophie Rennert (soloist), Patrick Grahl (soloist), Ludwig Mittelhammer (soloist), Arianna Vendittelli (soloist)

Das Vokalprojekt, Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie, Alessandro De Marchi

The Classical Music Collector

"No, you read right: a Missa Solemnis by Leopold Mozart, Wolfgang’s father.  The relationship between Wolfgang and Leopold was impenetrably complicated but it is at least clear that father Mozart was a major musical influence on his son. Even today very little of Leopold Mozart’s music is widely known; there is, happily, a surge of interest in his work, and much of it can now be heard on CD. This latest recording is issued to coincide with the three hundredth anniversary of Leopold’s birth in 1719, and it seems fitting that this major Mass setting, previously thought to be by Wolfgang, should be confidently reattributed to him now. It is a glorious work, opening with a slightly archaic-sounding Kyrie, and continuing in marvellous early Classical style. The performers hail from Leopold’s native city of Augsburg, and they are clearly committed to rehabilitating his music. The last recording of the Mass was issued more than thirty-five years ago, and it is a treat to have this appealing piece returned to the catalogue, especially in such a committed performance." - Chris Dench