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CD Les Noces, Mass, Cantata (RIAS Kammerchor)

The shelves are not overflowing these days with recordings of Stravinsky's les Noces. Aside from the re-release of the Karel Ancerl recording on Supraphon and one by Peter Eötvös for Hungaraton, it was a desert until the arrival of this superb SACD by the RIAS Kammerchor, which also features the Mass and Cantata. (...) Choir and soloists outdoing themselves in rigour and stylistic precision to find the 'archaic' Russian timbre of the score, then matching each other with the weightless homophony of the 1948 Mass, with a transparency that is brought out by the exemplary recording, even in traditional stereo.
(...) the Cantata from 1952 burns with the superb timbres of tenor Jan Bokow and soprano Carolyn Sampson, making this recording the modern reference.
Liberation, June 2006

As for his attractive setting of the Mass, for chorus and wind ensemble, it simply has never been better played and sung than it is here. While acknowledging the music’s obvious restraint and austerity, Reuss has the RIAS Kammerchor singing with amazing virtuosity. The group’s accuracy of intonation, ensemble balance, and rhythmic precision is little short of miraculous, and it gives the performance a lightness and flow (check out the Gloria) that you will rarely encounter in this piece. Instead of sounding like an act of penance, the music has that cool, luminous, Palestrina-like beauty that Stravinsky no doubt intended but probably never heard in his own lifetime.
Classicstoday, David Hurwitz, 10 may 2006

Empfehlung des Monats
Fono Forum, September 2006

Dirigent Daniel Reuss stellt einmal mehr unter Beweis, dass er nicht nur ein sehr guter Chor-Erzieher, sondern auch ein vielseitiger, erzmusikalischer Interpret von höchstem Rang ist.
Benjamin Cohrs, Klassiek Heute, 2006br>

This new recording gives us the modern reference of Les Noces that we've justifiably been waiting for. (...)
Daniel Reuss (served thus by perfect singers and keen instrumentalists) takes a nearly savage approach to Les Noces and a veritable joy in the overlapping of minute shifts in the music. (...)
(...) a worthy replacement for the Ancerl version, which no one has matched until now.
(...) one of the year's great discs.
Christophe Huss, Classics Today

Following Marcus Creed, the German-born Dutch conductor will have reinforced the adaptability and fascinating plasticity that make this choir an instrument often unrivalled in its joyful eclecticism in music ranging from the Baroque to contemporary. In this regard, this disc is an extra milestone for an ensemble which can always extend its playing field a bit more without the fear of being either stylistically totally inappropriate or merely approximate..[RIAS] allying the dramatic inspiration with an engagement and precision (at the level of nuance and rhythms) that calls for superlatives.(...) Of course, the plainly timeless jewels that are the Mass and Cantata would seem even more the business of the chamber choir from Berlin. The hallucinogenic colours of their singing, their reflective virtues, work wonders on these pieces. A cappella, the group shows off its homogeneity (the Agnus of the Mass), and even passages of total abandon (Cantata verses) do not alter its horizontal stability. Diapason, June 2006

This new one by Daniel Reuss is one of the very best. In a fully realised performance, and Daniel Reuss and his forces have given us one here, it has a visceral impact on listeners, it possesses them. (…) top recommendation for this masterpiece. (…) Urgently recommended to anyone interested in Stravinsky.
Ung-Aang Talay, Bangkok Post, 2006

"(....) Les Noces wordt slechts zelden uitgevoerd; goed dat het nu op cd staat, samen met topuitvoeringen van Messe (1948) en Cantate (1952) door het Rias Kammerchor en MusikFabrik onder leiding van Daniel Reuss. Les Noces laat een zeer Russische boerenbruiloft horen met schrille, volkse stemmen. Er is veel 'oer', aansprekend voor liefhebbers van Orffs Carmina Burana. Maar men hoort hier en vooral ook in Messe en Cantate al veel van Stravinksy's mooiste latere werk: Oedipus Rex en de Psalmensymfonie."
Kasper Jansen, NRC Handelsblad, 29.04.06

(...) Met z'n combinaties van lieflijke expressie en strenge canontechniek lijkt de magnifieke Cantata haar grootheid maar met tegenzin te willen openbaren. En dan alleen als er een groep aan het werk is met verstand van zowel 17de-eeuwse als Anton Webernachtige muzikale intimiteit. Reuss huldigt er een kalmte bij die weldadig aandoet.
Roland de Beer, Volkskrant, 11.05.06

Van de solisten waren de dames Engels en de heren Russisch, maar dit gemengde huwelijk kent geen grenzen. Er wordt op het scherp van de snede gemusiceerd en gezongen, en de opname klinkt letterlijk als een klok – denk maar aan de slotakkoorden. Bovendien maakt het geheel nog een authentiek Russische indruk ook.
Siebe Riedstra, www.opusklassiek.nl, januari 2011

Let's say this first off, this disc is a veritable wonder of coherence, direction, rhythmic élan, beauty, warmth and intelligence. Daniel Reuss conducts his little world along a perfectly marked route where everything seems the fruit of an absolute mastery. The vocal balance, the choir's depth and the beauty of its harmonies, the passion of the soloists. Everything is in place and the miracle is produced in each work ...incontrovertibly a discovery...A magical Super Audio CD!
Opus Haute Definition

Of the six or so recordings of Stravinsky's Les Noces currently available, this new release is probably the most aesthetic, most harmonious and most perfected.
Luister Magazine, June 2006

Ce superbe album s'impose désormais comme une référence absolue, indispendable à toute discothèque.
Pierre-Jean Tribot, Resmusica, 2006

Mit dieser Aufnahme, [...] setzt Daniel Reuss zweifellos Maßstäbe. Chor und Instrumentalisten bringen den pulsierenden Klangkosmos von Strawinsky mit unglaublicher Genauigkeit und Intensität zu Gehör.
WDR 3, Barbara Overbeck

Les Noces klingt dank Daniel Reuss endlich wie sie klingen muss; rhythmisch, saftig, derb. Ein Referenzeinspielung.
Die Märkische Algemeine, Oktober 2006

Diese Produktion ist in jeder Beziehung beispielhaft; unverbrauchtes Repertoire, kompetente und Inspirierte Interpretation, guter Klang; eine preisverdächtige Rehabilitierung des oft Ignorierten “späten” Stravinsky.
Georg Henkel, Musik an sich, 2006

Dagegen ist die neue Aufnahme mit Rias-Kammerchor unter Daniel Reuss eine wohltuend differenzierte, auch die Herztöne einfangende Darbietung des Werks. In Stravinsky's eigener Aufnahme klirrt die Musik, hier schwingt sie.
Rheinische Post, Wolfram Goertz, 2006

Einfach gigantisch.
Manuel Müller, Klassik.com, 2006

Released by: Harmonia Mundi 801913