Again, not really Christmas music but at least it’s church music, and the polar opposite of the comforting open-fire-and-logs baroque we recently reviewed: this is the music from a Dan Brown film where a full choir sings in St Peter’s as Tom Hanks fights to keep evil at bay.
According to the sleeve notes, Donizetti’s church music was, as per the age, assembled ad hoc into larger works and often recycled by the composer. It is this same technique that Franz Hauk has used to create a new work, the Messa Di Gloria and Credo In D from various Donizetti pieces. Hauk has added the Mayr to give it the desired form and length.
There was also apparently no strict distinction between the sacred and the secular, so this CD ranges in style from religious to operatic.
The sleeve notes, by Hauk, are learned and interesting and we’re not going to crib them and pretend knowledge we lack. Suffice to say, this is a rather inspiring, if intense, work perhaps leaning towards the formulaic in places but engaging nonetheless.
Stirring but earnest. Out on Naxos: 8573605