Te Kanawa's version of the aria-like Exsultate, jubilate, motet for soprano and orchestra (K.165/158a) is mind-numbingly beautiful. Of late, many films have been experimenting with the use of Mozart's Duettino Sull'aria from The Marriage of Figaro. It was used to brilliant effect in The Shawshank Redemption and was used, less well, in The Man Who Was Not There. The aria-like Exsultate, jubilate, really, could be a wonderful, less well known substitute for the Figaro duettino. It's a smooth, sweet reflection of Mozart's Catholic faith. Te Kanawa's interpretation of the closing praise, the "Allelujah" portion of the piece, is delicate yet exuberant.
The Album also contains a somber, free flowing recording of Ave Verum Corpus (Oh hail the holy body, I believe, would be a good translation of that). When I first began classical performance, I studied voice with a former nun who used Ave Verum Corpusto teach me how to sing within my range and not try to ape the singing of the tenors or altos (one of the difficult things about learning classical singing is that the urge to harmonize with higher voices is counter-productive). The recording done on this album, by the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, is beautiful. My only complaint is that the mastering on this album is very, very quiet. Listening to it in my car, I have to set the volume on maximum to really hear the double bass or the alto lines. That seems to be a constant problem for classical recordings. I don't know if it's a product of the fact that many digital classical recordings are made decades after the original analog versions (i.e., as was done with the Karajan/Beethoven recordings), or if it's just bad engineering, but it's a frustrating component to listening.