Helmuth Froschauer: Friedrich Kiel Missa Solemnis Op.40

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Missa Solemnis by Friedrich Kiel. With Brigitte Lindner (Soprano), Regine Röttger (Mezzo-Soprano), Elisabeth Graf (Alto), Thomas Dewald (Tenor), and Karl Fäth
(Bass). Conducted by Helmuth Froschauer with the Kölner Rundfunkorchester and Choir.

I. Kyrie - 00:00
II. Gloria - 5:14
III. Credo - 22:03
IV. Sanctus - 35:56
V. Angus Dei - 44:23

Friedrich Kiel (8 October 1821 -- 13 September 1885) was a German composer and music teacher.
Writing of the chamber music of Friedrich Kiel, the famous scholar and critic Wilhelm Altmann notes that it was Kiel's extreme modesty which kept him and his exceptional works from receiving the consideration they deserved. After mentioning Brahms and others, Altmann writes, "He produced a number of chamber works, which . . . need fear no comparison."

Kiel was born in Bad Laasphe, Puderbach. He was taught the rudiments of music and received his first piano lessons from his father, but was in large part self-taught. Something of a prodigy, he played the piano almost without instruction at the age of six, and by his thirteenth year he had composed much music. Kiel eventually came to the attention of Prince Albrecht Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, a great music lover. Through the Prince's efforts, Kiel was allowed to study violin with the concertmaster of the Prince's fine orchestra with which he later performed as a soloist. Kiel was also given theory lessons from the renowned flautist Kaspar Kummer. By 1840, the eighteen-year-old Kiel was court conductor and the music teacher to the prince's children. Two years later, Louis Spohr heard him and arranged for a scholarship which allowed Kiel to study in Berlin with the renowned theorist and teacher Siegfried Dehn. In Berlin, Kiel eventually became sought after as an instructor. In 1866, he received a teaching position at the prestigious Stern conservatory, where he taught composition and was elevated to a professorship three years later. In 1870 he joined the faculty of the newly founded Hochschule für Musik which was shortly thereafter considered one of the finest music schools in Germany. Among his many students were Zygmunt Noskowski, Arthur Somervell, Ernst Eduard Taubert, Charles Villiers Stanford, Frederic Hymen Cowen, Emil Sjögren, Waldemar von Baußnern, Julius Buths and Ignacy Jan Paderewski.
Kiel's hobby was mountaineering and at age 60, he climbed Europe's second highest peak, the Monte Rosa, on the Swiss-Italian border. He died in Berlin two years later as the result of a traffic accident.

"Unlike some of his Berlin contemporaries, Friedrich Kiel did not stick to a drily academic imitation of historical composition techniques. His style opended up to the innovations of the time. It is among his merits to have breathed the spirit of Romanticism into the circle of Berlin academics.

Thus we find in the monumental Missa Solemnis a style that integrates linear, contrapuntal thought into the tonal aestetics of the late 19th century.

Thus Friedrich Kiel, in contrast to Beethoven, places the chorus at the centre of his solemn Mass and thereby creates a massive sonority which, in combination with the dense polyphonic complexity, makes great demands on the recipients.

The Missa Solemnis of Friedrich Kiel is a clear stylistic confession of a Protestant articulated on the Basis of the Catholic liturgy. Since, however, large-scale Masses in that phase of musical history had in any case long been seculrised, the composer saw himself to no conflict of belief, for this work also clearly has its place in the concert-hall."

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