DVOŘÁK Antonín - Te Deum, MENDELSSOHN BARTHOLDY Felix: Psalm 42, Hora est
Gachinger Kantorei Stuttgart , Bach-Collegium Stuttgart
"Mendelssohn's setting of Psalm 42 (the poetically inane booklet translation of the first line reads "As the hart panteth after the water brooks/So panteth my soul after thee, Oh God") is quite a large work, lasting some 25 minutes and consisting of three choruses, an aria, a quintet, and a couple of recitatives. And if my soul doesn't exactly panteth to listen to it all that frequently, it's still a major effort well worth having on disc, especially in such a warm and understanding performance. Besides, the couplings are terrific. The brief Antiphon, Hora Est for 16 voices, is exquisite, and Rilling's romp through Dvorák's blazing, festive Te Deum is the best ever by non-Czech performers, and certainly the most impressively recorded by anyone (including Shaw/Telarc). In fact, the Mendelssohn Psalm setting probably would have been much more impactful had its somewhat saccharine charms not been utterly annihilated through close proximity to Dvorák's red-blooded, richly tuneful hymn of praise. Never mind. This is a terrific disc of seriously neglected choral music, and if you make sure never to play the two major works within, say, a week of each other, you'll find plenty to enjoy."
David Hurwitz on www.classicstoday.com