Bruckner’s immensely powerful Mass in E minor, as well as his motets, reflect the deep religious background to Bruckner’s sacred choral writing, making great, almost Beethovenian, demands of the choir, and combining the rich romantic harmonies of the late nineteenth century with stylistic features harking back to Renaissance composers such as Palestrina.
The Mass progresses to a conclusion of utmost beauty, uplifting and inspirational. Written for the reverberant acoustic of the cathedral of Linz in Austria, where for many years Bruckner was organist, its slow-building climaxes of telling splendour equally suit the acoustic of Canterbury cathedral.
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