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A,erican Record Guide: (03/2018) 
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Soli Deo Gloria

Code-barres / Barcode : 843183072828


Outil de traduction ~ (Très approximatif)
Translator tool (Very approximate)

Reviewer: John W. Barker

The first work in this program is the “Lutheran Mass” No. 1 in F, which, like the other three in the sequence, sets only the Kyrie and Gloria and shares much music with Bach cantatas. It runs under 23 minutes and is pleasant listening if a relative trifle in Bach’s output. The second work is Bach’s Cantata 151, Susser Trost, mein Jesu Kommt, composed for a Sunday after Christmas. It is dominated by its opening section, a soprano aria ten minutes longt dwarfing a second aria slightly over four minutes long; there are two recitatives and a final chorale. Gardiner, we may note, has recorded this cantata before in his “Cantata Pilgrimage” series.

Bach’s Magnificat is one of the most familiar of his choral works, and Gardner has also recorded it in its “standard” D-major form. Here he turns to the earlier E-flat version, with its four interpolated Christmas texts. All through the program, as is his custom, Gardiner has taken singers from his chorus and given them solos. There are eight of them here, and they are generally excellent singers—notably Morrison, with her very well-projected soprano tone. Countertenor Mobly is given the largest number of assignments and carries them out quite smoothly. The chorus and orchestra are up to Gardiner’s usual high standards, but I find some of his interpretations in the Magnificat questionable. He takes some of the Scripture text choruses at breakneck speeds. He also understates the performances of the four interpolations and has them recorded rather at a distance from the very forward positioning of the full body. All in all, while this is a knowing presentation of this alternate Magnificat by Bach, I do not consider it at all a “definitive” statement.


Recorded in London in December of 2016, this release is in every way an epilogue to the “Cantata Pilgrimage” undertaking—the same book-bound album design with the same (Inappropriate) cover design. Instead of notes, we are given a long Gardiner discussion of his ideas for this latest effort. But there are full texts and translations.

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