This CD usefully and enjoyably collects three little-known Czech masses. Josef Foerster’s Glagolitic Masspredates Janáček’s masterwork by three years; from the height of the Czech romantic era come masses by Zdenek Fibich and the teenage Josef Suk. If you listened to the recording without looking at the book, you might not realize that the choir is amateur and the orchestra a group of students.
Josef Suk’s Mass in B was finished at the age of 14 or 15; he revised the work almost up until his death, but the Charles University Choir presents the original version. It’s pretty and very charming, with nearly operatic solo arias for soprano and alto, and a chamber orchestra accompaniment that’s mostly in the background. In fact, its subtlety is one of the best things about the piece.