Album: Berlioz, Grande Messe des Morts – Ensemble Wroclaw / McCreesh (Winged Lion)


With 200 singers and massed choirs of period brass, Berlioz's 1837 Grande Messe has rarely sounded so thrilling or transparent.

The windows of Wroclaw's Mary Magdalene Church may have buckled during Paul McCreesh's recording sessions but the muted plangency and expressivity of his female semi-chorus in the "Sanctus" is every bit as impactful as the rolling waves of timpani in the "Tuba Mirum", while the snaking coils of strings have an otherworldly, Gothic flavour.