Corydon Singers, English Chamber Orchestra Wind Ensemble, Matthew Best (conductor)
Bruckner’s three mature Masses, in D minor, E minor, and F minor, were written between 1864 and 1868, after his seven-year period of grinding study with Simon Sechter, during which he composed very little. When he eventually plunged into composition again (he was now in his forties), Bruckner had consolidated his skills, and the D minor and F minor Masses show a maturity based on the Austrian Classical tradition. The E minor stands apart; it uses a wind band instead of the Classical orchestra, and it is clearly influenced by a study of early counterpoint, especially Palestrina’s. Of the three Masses it is the ‘purest’. It also looks to both past and future in a way the others do not.