- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Posted October 1, 2010
One will not be disappointed in purchasing this recording coupling two of your favorite Baroque choral works, but you probably won't be exhila-rated either, at least with the Bach. The Vivaldi Gloria is wonderful- ly performed - the tempi throughout are quick without being rushed, articulation is superb in both choir and orchestra, and the work never flags, leading to a thrilling conclusion.
The Bach Magnificat on the other hand is rather uneven interpretively. The arias fare best with crisp articulation and lively tempi. The choruses on the other hand are to begin with taken too slowly (not dragging, but some more urgent pacing would have helped here) and the articulation and blending of the vocal parts is too smooth and mushy to create the lightness of texture to make these movements dance. I am indeed surprised at how the great Robert Shaw and his forces could be so inspiring in the Vivaldi and so ordinary in the Bach (at least in the
That said, howver, I will say that the soloists in both works are flawless throughout, especially Dawn Upshaw, Penelope Jensen and Ma-
rietta Simpson. The tenor and bass are also excellent but not quite on
the same level as the ladies. In short this is probably the best solo
team for both these works in a long time.
I normally have no reservations whatsoever about Robert Shaw's Atlanta recordings and recommend them wholeheatedly, but one can't be perfect and this CD falls in that category. The soloists will wow you, the Vivaldi is great - it is unfortunate that the Bach is not quite in the
same league as the Vivaldi - still no performance I have heard of the Bach is perfect and the Shaw is certainly better than most. Try and hear this recording before buying; you may feel differently than myself.