LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.0

Help for CLASSICAL Archives


CLASSICAL Archives

CLASSICAL Archives


CLASSICAL@COMMUNITY.LSOFT.COM


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

CLASSICAL Home

CLASSICAL Home

CLASSICAL  March 2000

CLASSICAL March 2000

Subject:

Re: Bach's B minor Mass on Period Instruments

From:

Donald Satz <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 9 Mar 2000 15:22:00 PST

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (74 lines)

The Agnus Dei is an aria for alto.  "Have mercy on us" is the key part of
the text.  Judging from all the venom that the world's people spit out on
a daily basis and the natural disasters that plague us, we sure could use
something.  Maybe mercy is just the ticket.

An effective performance of the Agnus Dei always gives me an image of the
heavy walk to the crucifixion with the bass notes measuring out each step
taken.  Every version is very good, even the Bruggen which has the fastest
tempo.  Parrott's and King's boy sopranos are very good as well.
Impressive all around.

The Dona nobis pacem concludes the Mass and is essentially a repeat of the
Gratias agimus tibi which was part of the Gloria.  It's still great choral
music and a fitting tribute to the work.

Version Summaries:

Level 1 - Leonhardt stands alone.  His version has the best choral
singing, a delectable soprano in Isabelle Poulenard, and general pacing and
"swagger" that's second to none.  My only regret about the performance is
that the Gratias/Dona nobis pacem is not done very well, and it does show
up twice, most importantly at the conclusion of the work.  But, you can't
get everything from one performance of a majestic composition.

Level 2 - Gardiner, Parrott, and Pearlman.  Much of what I said about
Lenhardt's recording applies to Gardiner, except that Gardiner's
performance fell down significantly in the Credo.  Parrott's version is
proof to me that a one-voice per part approach can be very effective.
Parrott directs well and has excellent contributions from Emma Kirby and
boy soloists.  Pearlman is one of the faster versions, and it usually works
well.  He has an outstanding soprano in Nicole Heaston and works wonders
in the most appealing choral music.

Level 3 - King, Bruggen, and Rifkin.  King's recording offers the best
sound, has interesting boy soloists, and in most respects is a fine
mainstream version in terms of pacing and spirit.  Bruggen's version is
very good; he takes chances with a good success ratio and has a great tenor
in Nico van der Meel.  Rifkin, like Parrott, employs the one-voice per part
and usually quite well.  He elicits outstanding work from the winds and has
excellent sopranos in Judith Nelson and Julianne Baird.  Unfortunately,
when he "goofs" he goes all the way.

Level 4 - Hickox and Herreweghe.  Hickox is the least memorable recording.
None of the vocal soloists were special, pacing was moderate, and insights
provided were sporadic.  Herreweghe provided some special moments not
provided by the others, but had a tendency to sluggish tempos.  Both he
and Hickox had major problems with the Credo.

There it is - all done.  Before starting this comparison, I would have said
that Gardiner's is the best overall version; his falling off in the Credo
must have left my memory.  The newest version, Pearlman's, is very
impressive and is priced as one disc.

Versions I know little of include Koopman, Max, Harnoncourt, and Thomas.
As I said initially, I have the newer Herreweghe recording but have
temporarily lost it.  With time, I might add them to the collection.

Of course, I wouldn't do this survey for just any composition.  I knew that
I might have close to 40 hours of listening, but didn't mind the prospect
given the gifts inherent in Bach's Mass.

One major item I'd like to emphasize is the pleasure and interest of
listening to different interpretations.  I'm glad that some use one-voice
per part, boy soloists, unusal tempos or dynamics, etc.  I appreciate the
attempt to be distinctive and personal more than whatever level of results.
As Jos commented in an earlier posting, the variety of interpretation
that's provided to us is an important factor on its own.

I do hope that Jos does a survey of the St.  Matthew Passion recordings.
I'll try, in the background, to keep pace with him and am very interested
in reading his perceptions and conclusions.

Don Satz
[log in to unmask]

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
June 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
July 1997

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



COMMUNITY.LSOFT.COM

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager