Music and Vision homepage

CD Spotlight

Rare indeed

The C minor Mass
by Johann Simon Mayr -
appreciated by

'... spirited, alert and uplifting.'

Johann Simon Mayr: Missa in C minor. © 2001 Guild Music Ltd

Johann Simon Mayr (1763-1845) was one of the most important opera composers in the Italian tradition between Mozart and Rossini. He was born in Ingolstadt, a city some fifty miles north of Munich, which contains one of Bavaria's finest treasures of ecclesiastical architecture, the baroque Monastery and Minster known as the Einsiedeln Notre Dame des Eremites. Much depicted (including the fine nineteenth century painted sketch by Isidore-Laurant Deroy shown on the cover of this disc), Ingolstadt also contains one of Europe's finest organs.

Mayr was one of the great 'lost' composers of the Beethoven era. He composed almost seventy operas, on subjects ranging from his earliest Venetian success, Sappho (1794, for La Fenice), to Lodoiska (compare Cherubini) and Medea in Corinth, which Jane Eaglen has recorded, sponsored by the Peter Moores Foundation, on Opera Rara ORR 215.

Rare indeed. Only fragments of other operas -- Elisa, Phaedra, Alfred the Great, The White and the Red Rose - have yet found their way onto disc, mainly on Opera Rara 101-4 (though the conductor here, Franz Hauk, has committed one 'Sentimental Farce', Che Originali! to disc complete with his Ingolstadt Orchestra on GMDD 7167-8). His oratorios -- Jacob and Laban, Tobias, David, Sisera, Jephtha have all disappeared, though might give some idea where Donizetti -- who was his pupil -- and indeed, later, Spohr and Mendelssohn, were coming from. Masses and liturgical church music likewise formed part of his output.

Continue >>

Copyright © 19 March 2003 Roderic Dunnett, Coventry, UK


 << Music & Vision home      Recent CD reviews       Stanislaw Skrowaczewski >>