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The Independent Culture
Schubert: Mass in A flat/ Sacred works Orchestre Revolutionaire et Romantique, Monteverdi Choir, Gardiner (Philips)

Having already covered Beethoven, including a superb recording of his Missa solemnis, John Eliot Gardiner moves on to Schubert, whose contemporary A flat Mass was also dubbed Missa solemnis by its composer. This is the grandest of Schubert's various settings of the Mass, and is given a driven-yet-spacious reading. HHHH

Schreker: Orchestral works Gurzenich-Orchester Kolner Philharmoniker, Conlon (EMI)

Schreker was one of a number of daring composers working in the hot-house Vienna of the early 1900s. James Conlon gives a representative overview of his works, from the post-Wagnerian Romantic Suite to the eclectic Memnon Prelude of 1933. The strongest piece is the Prelude to a Drama, a 20-minute work based on his masterpiece, the opera Die Gezeichneten, which is awash with gorgeous colour and melodic invention. HHHH