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Dussek: Messe Solemnelle

Stefanie True soprano
Helen Charlston mezzo-soprano
Gwilym Bowen tenor
Morgan Pearse bass-baritone

Academy of Ancient Music
Choir of the AAM
Richard Egarr

1CD with hardback book

Winner – Gramophone Awards 2021

Nominated – BBC Music Magazine Awards 2022

Finalist – Presto Recordings of the Year 2020



AAM Records is delighted to present the world-premiere recording of Jan Ladislav Dussek’s long-neglected Messe Solemnelle, performed by an exceptional cast of young soloists alongside the Academy of Ancient Music, Choir of AAM and music director Richard Egarr. The product of extensive research begun when Egarr happened upon the work languishing in a Florentine library, this recording presents a new scholarly edition prepared by Reinhard Seigert and stands as a fitting tribute to a composer who deserve far greater recognition.

Academy of Ancient Music’s mission is to explore, reveal and preserve great works of the baroque and classical eras, and a spirit of newfound discovery runs through all that we do. This recording of JL Dussek’s Messe Solemnelle represents an important step in this journey.

“Dussek himself could scarcely have hoped for a performance as fine as this one, with the Academy of Ancient Music on top form, a well-drilled choir of 20 clearly in thrall to Egarr’s infectious enthusiasm for the work and four finely matched soloists imparting plenty of personality. The presentation, too, is worthy of the evangelical nature of the project … It’s a fascinating work and an important project, impressively recorded, exquisitely presented and enthusiastically recommended.” Gramophone

"When superior musical execution meets highest musical scholarship, angels cry with joy... this is vital, bracing music, but also music of great beauty" Classical Explorer

"AAM's sumptuous presentation ... Egarr's enthusiasm for Dussek is infectious and justified by this fine performance from a well-balanced quartet of soloists and superb work from the AAM players and choir. A hugely worthwhile discovery of an unknown work…" Album of the Week, The Sunday Times

"A stylish first recording of Dussek’s sequel to Masses commissioned from Haydn, Beethoven and Hummel." The Sunday Times, Top 100 Recordings of the Year

"[Richard] Egarr and the Academy of Ancient Music reveal a wonderfully inventive work that bridges the Classical and Romantic styles ... AAM’s engineers have brilliantly captured the beautifully nuanced colours produced by Egarr’s empathetic forces. Top marks to Egarr and the AAM for resurrecting this heavenly music.” Limelight Magazine; Album of the Year nominee

“Richard Egarr’s passion for this underrated composer and sense of excitement at this rediscovery is almost palpable, not just in the quality of the recording but also in the way it’s been presented. A fine sound and a labour of love that repays the effort.” BBC Radio 3 Record Review

"‘The work is fluent, imaginatively orchestrated with impressive contrapuntal writing. There are some fascinating harmonic touches … this enjoyable, well recorded rendition, with lovely solo singing, has clear passionate advocacy” BBC Music Magazine

“Richard Egarr of the Academy of Ancient Music has set the ambition of searching out neglected music for the group and Dussek’s Messe Solemnelle is certainly that … it is gracious, by turns lively and (more often) sweetly affecting … Egarr, the Academy of Ancient Music and their choir, together with a well-blended quartet of soloists, give it the sensitive performance that Dussek might have imagined. The luxurious packaging includes a hard-backed book of essays.” The Financial Times

“The work is imaginative, tuneful, very well written and expertly scored. It inhabits the world of Haydn’s late masses and Beethoven’s Mass in C, without ever really sounding like either. The recording is clear, open and detailed, capturing the forces used with clarity and naturalness. As always, AAM’s presentation is outstanding...” HiFi Choice, 5* and 'Hot Pick'

"The Academy of Ancient Music’s new recording of Dussek’s Messe Solemnelle shines a much-deserved light on this magnificent work and its creator ... from beginning to end, the care and attention they give to every musical subtlety and nuance breathes life into this newly discovered work, inviting listeners to embark on a journey of their own to discover Dussek and his Messe Solemnelle for themselves." The Whole Note

Released 2 October 2020

Registered charity number 1085485