This really was quite a fine recording of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, one of the best in years and easily the best of the early music recordings. The Choeur de la Chapelle Royale et du Collegium Vocale sing with strength and stamina, but also with grace and beauty of tone. The Champs Elysees Orchestra plays with power and precision, but also with unity of ensemble and beauty of tone, a very rare quality in an early music orchestra. And Herreweghe himself is actually an apt interpreter of the work. Not only does he have a knack for bringing out better than the best in his performers, but he actually seems to believe in the spiritual and sublime essence of the work, a very, very rare quality in any conductor these days. The result is a performance which, while it doesn't rival the 1940 Toscanini, the 1965 Klemperer, or the 1974 Böhm, does express the overwhelming sense that the numinous is imminent. Harmonia Mundi's sound is rich and vibrant.- James Leonard
Philippe Herreweghe's 2011 recording of Ludwig van Beethoven's Missa Solemnis in D major receives high marks, not only for the elegant period treatment, but also for the profound conviction of the performance. The Collegium Vocale Ghent and the Orchestre des Champs-Élysées deliver the music with a somewhat smaller sound than one usually hears in modern performances; the Classical proportions of the ensembles allow details to stand out with utter clarity and the choral parts to move with greater fluidity and transparency than permitted with much larger choruses.
Beethoven's Missa Solemnis was performed on 13 and 14 February, 2010 at the traditional memorial concert to commemorate the bombardement of Dresden during the last weeks of World War II. Under Christian Thielemann, the Staatskapelle Dresden proved itself exeptionally qualified to master this work´s magnificent challenges. Thielemann “conjured up the gigantic cosmos of the Missa with such lightness and grace that its mystery seemed to reveal itself”, wrote the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
"Leonard Bernstein succeeded superbly in conveying his own intellectually ferocious vision of what the Missa solemnis truly signifies. His 1978 Concertgebouw performance is one of the greatest utterances of Bernstein's Indian summer on the Yellow Label." (Classics Today.com)