"This is Anne Sofie von Otter at her most hallowed, and Quasthoff is as quietly witty in the fables as he is harrowing in the military doom-songs. Unsurpassable…" ~BBC Music Mag
This is an untouchably great performance of one of Handel's most interesting oratorios: its examination of jealousy is on a par with what can be found in Otello and Pelléas. There's drama galore–in fact, during its first run it was referred to as a "musical drama" (rather than an oratorio), and Handel and his librettist, Thomas Broughton, always referred to its "acts" rather than "parts", as sections of oratorios were commonly known.–Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com
Thus spake Shaw, writing about Gluck towards the end of the 19th century. Shaw went on to allege that the musical culture of his time had not fully caught up with this great master and reformer of opera, and the very thoughtful and instructive essay that Gardiner contributes here suggests to me that there may still, in the third millennium, be a little catching up to do. Whatever one thinks of Gluck, either as a composer or as a musical dramatist or as an operatic rationalist and reformer, it seems to me that he was very clear-headed in one basic respect - he knew the difference between musical drama and musical tableau. Classical drama has an inherent tendency towards tableau, with its statues, white-robed women, prophets, deities and heroes…
„… the release of a special audiophile treat. It is not without reason that French critics have just awarded the choir the ‘Diapason d’or’ prize.“ (K Int’l)
With The All-Baroque Box we realize one of our fondest dreams: harnessing the deep catalogue of Archiv Produktion (supplemented on occasion by Decca L oiseau lyre recordings) to create a comprehensive collection of great music from Monteverdi to Bach. The music ranges from huge Baroque (Missa Salisburgensis, Venetian polychoral, Charpentier Te Deum) to intimate Baroque (the Goldberg Variations, Bach cello suites, solo cantatas) overwhelming in its impact and emotional content.
“This large-scale live recording (Gardiner's second) was made in Venice's St Mark's Basilica. It captures the drama as well as the ceremonial aspect of the work, despite sometimes cloudy recorded sound.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide. “Gardiner's second [recording of the Vespers], spectacularly recorded live in St Mark's, has a punchy choral sound, near-operatic solo singing (Bryn Terfel and Alistair Miles are among the basses), emphatic enunciation, big contrasts and deliberate exploitation of the building's spaces. Its outright theatricality sets it apart from other performances.” Gramophone Magazine.
Reedition bienvenue avec un exellent son remastérisé de cette trés belle version de Gardiner d'un oratorio de Handel qui est une oeuvre singuliere au sein de la production de ce grand compositeur. L'Allegro, il Pensiero ed il Moderato est dans sa structure trés different de l'oratorio traditionnel et consiste en un assemblage assez libre de solos et de choeurs, mettant en scene 3 personnages allegoriques , un peu comme "il trionfo del tempo", mais chaque" personnage" est ici representé par plusieures voix. Exellent casting choisi par Gardiner au niveu des voix, d'ou emerge Patricia Kwella, dont la beauté et la pureté du timbre illumine cette tres belle oeuvre, proposée a un prix trés doux, aucune raison de passer à coté.