The world has enjoyed the genius of Mozart through his symphonies, operas, chamber and piano music. In addition, his Requiem, left incomplete at his death, remains one of the most beloved of sacred choral works.
Gloriæ Dei Cantores presents a rare look at a side of Mozart that is not so well known: his contribution to music for the Church. Included in this recording are two rarely heard major works of great beauty and invention: Davide Penitente K. 469 and the Litaniae de venerabili altaris Sacramento K. 243. Also included are a further litany, several motets, and two of the famous church sonatas for small orchestra and organ, giving a rounded picture of Mozart, the sacred musician.
Mozart: Rare Choral Works offers a profound experience for the classical music lover and for those who are interested in the sacred side of one of the best-loved composers of all time.
The recording was based on the editions of the Neue Mozart Ausgabe, published by Barenreiter.
“This is a useful collection of rare choral works by the composer whose 250th anniversary occurs this year. ... this version [Davide penitente] fills a significant need ... The fine performances are enhanced by the acoustics of the new church at the choir's home. Of the soloists, Christine Helfrich is outstanding in K108 and the closing movement of K243. This is a well-thought-out collection, a useful anniversary issue.”
- “This is one of the more successful and thoughtfully programmed collections to appear so far in this Mozart Year, and although many of the works featured have been recorded multiple times – and quite well – the high quality of the performances here, and the presence of the truly and inexplicably rare oratorio Davide penitente, makes this set a very attractive and musically satisfying listen. As mentioned, the performances are very good, especially the finely executed, energetic, vibrant choral ensemble singing and the equally dynamic and tightly-knit orchestral accompaniment, expertly conducted by Richard Pugsley. In these areas, there are no weaknesses ... the choral singing is really terrific! ... richly rewarding, generously programmed CDs. ... this performance [of Davide penitente] ... is a highlight – and the work absolutely deserves respect from today's choirs looking to celebrate the best of Mozart's vocal music. The recording, made in Gloriæ Dei Cantores' home venue, the Church of the Transfiguration in Orleans, Massachusetts, is expertly engineered, offering realistic, detailed choral sound, properly balanced with the orchestra, in an acoustic that's warm yet enhanced with an enlivening resonance – ideal for this music. This is a set that should prove attractive to all Mozart lovers, especially valuable for its gathering together of rare works of real merit rather than rarely recorded works that should remain so. This is a real treat – an ambitious and justly rewarding addition to the Mozart recording catalog.”
- “... Exciting is the only word I can use to convey what I heard. ... The Viaticum comes off extremely well in this recording ... Regina Coeli is a festive piece and Gloriæ Dei Cantores and Vox Caeli Sinfonia are certainly festive when need be ... I can say this version is right up there on my list. In the Sancti Maria, the soloists and chorus come together beautifully to bring out the touching prayer to St. Mary ... If you do not have the oratorio Davide Penitente in your collection, what an opportunity you have here. Notes include full text and English translation ... I can boil this entire review down to three little words for you. BUY THIS SET!! Under-recorded works in excellent interpretations.”
- “Here the trusty and sonorous singers of Gloriæ Dei Cantores deliver ... a survey of little-known sacred choral works in honor of Mozart's anniversary year ... The choir sounds terrific as usual.”
American Record Guide
- “I have been an ardent fan of the work of the Gloriæ Dei Cantores, and I have followed with avidity their superb work through the years. The Gloriæ Dei Cantores have now reached yet another pinnacle, just when I was certain they had reached the highest peaks. The Mozart recording is superb in every way: ensemble, authenticity of style, conviction of interpretation, sheer beauty of sound, and, above all, the spiritual glory of Mozart flawlessly expressed for us all to hear.”
Gerre Hancock, Organist and Master of Choristers emeritus, Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue New York
- “I cannot think of a greater, more inspiring, and exciting contribution to this 250th anniversary year of Mozart's birth that these two CD's of his more obscure and unjustly neglected choral works. The performances by the chorus Gloriæ Dei Cantores and the instrumental ensemble Vox Caeli Sinfonia are uniformly excellent. The interpretation of these magnificent works is the first rate and accompanying booklet full of invaluable information about the works presented. This is a birthday present Mozart would have loved as well as everyone fortunate enough to own this wonderful set of CDs.”
Samuel Adler, Professor Emeritus, The Juilliard School
- “Mozart: Rare Choral Works is a rich collection of Mozart's lesser known and much varied church music ... It is a radiant performance by a choir and soloists who sing with real commitment and passion. ... An absolute must for Mozart lovers.”
Author, Marrying Mozart
- “Gloriae Dei Cantores sings with fervor and grace and with an obvious affection for all of this glorious music.”
Philip Brunelle, Founder and Artistic Director, Vocal Essence
- “Sound: clear and well produced; direction and musicality: professional sound quality; program notes: excellent, lucid and scholarly helpful. The choral singing is first rate.”
Erna Schwerin, President, Friends of Mozart Inc.
- “... the forty-voice ensemble Gloriae Dei Cantores under the direction of Elizabeth Patterson are in really fine voice and it is difficult not to be impressed by their security of ensemble ... Their [Vox Caeli Sinfonia] playing is impressive being especially alert and sensitive. This well-packaged release from Gloriæ Dei Cantores contains full Latin texts with English translations and fascinating and informative liner notes from organist David Chalmers ... It is good to hear some of Mozart's lesser performed sacred choral works in this his anniversary year.”