The C minor Mass
by Johann Simon Mayr -
'... spirited, alert and uplifting.'
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
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.
Copyright © 19 March 2003
Roderic Dunnett, Coventry, UK