- Mass No. 17 for soloists, chorus & orchestra in C minor (fragment, "Great Mass"), K. 427 (K. 417a)
- Requiem for soloists, chorus, and orchestra, K. 626
This double disc combines a pair of Mozart mass performances linked by a common choir, orchestra, and conductor; the two live recordings were made five years apart, in 1986 and 1991, in different locations, and they have no soloists in common except for mezzo soprano Doris Soffel. These are large-scale German performances of the old school. For many listeners the soloists will be the main attraction, a prime example being the appearance of bass Thomas Quasthoff, sounding preternaturally warm in the "Tuba mirum" section of the "Requiem, K. 626." The soaring female duets in the "Mass in C minor, K. 427," from Soffel and soprano Arleen Augér, can stand up to the sumptuous chorus, which may seem to overpower the music, except for listeners raised on the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Conductor Gary Bertini makes the Choir of Cologne Radio do a lot of Wagnerian stomping around, especially in the "Requiem," and that kind of thing is purely a matter of personal taste. But what's certain is that the soloists here are a match for the large dimensions of the interpretation, and that this is a decent example of its type.