“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.
Behind the near-mythical figure of the emancipated woman, the dazzling spectacle of the group tableau and vibrant seduction of the Spain of dreams, all its authenticity and brilliance have been restored to the world's most performed opera in the opera house where it was first performed in 1875. A veritable back to the origins for the masterpiece by Georges Bizet, who died at the age of thirty six, only a few weeks after finishing his controversial work, the tremendous success of which he was ever to know. By presenting it here in a brand-new version with instruments of the period, in an endeavour to rekindle the original musical and theatrical flame, Sir John Eliot Gardiner and Adrian Noble have reconstructed the unusual movement of the chorus and difficult dialogue between characters as a human, carnal tragedy.
This recording of Mozart's first German opera The Abduction From The Seraglio is also on another box set/label and has been re-issued for Deutsche Grammophone, the world's greatest classical music and opera label. The Brit Sir Jon Elio Gardiner conducts at a brisk, lively pace (too fast for some folks) and the principal singers sing with excellent German diction and in the traditional Singspiel style but lack a je ne sais quai to really stand out. Tenor Stanford Olsen sings Belmonte, baritone Hans Peter Minetti as Pasha Selim, soprano Luba Orgonasova as Konstanze, soprano Cyndia Sieden as Blonde, Uwe Peper as Pedrillo and bass Cornelius Hauptmann as Osmin. If you're a fan of any of these singers, this recording is for you…
Jean-Sébastien Bach est l'un des compositeurs les plus mystérieux de l'histoire de la musique. Comment une oeuvre aussi sublime a-t-elle pu jaillir d'un homme si ordinaire et si opaque ? John Eliot Gardiner a grandi sous le regard d'un des deux portraits authentiques de Bach, conservé dans la maison de ses parents où il avait été caché pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. …
When this staging was presented in 1992, in various theatres, Gardiner decided to be his own director because he didn't trust any available alternative to be faithful to Da Ponte's and Mozart's original. In the circumstances his was a sensible decision because his deeply discerning stage interpretation perfectly seconds his own musically perceptive reading. His keen understanding of what this endlessly fascinating work is about is made plain in his absorbing essay in the booklet.
Although conductors invariably include the six great motets of Bach (BWV225-230) in recordings of these works, they seldom if ever seem to agree which if any other of Bach's motets to perform with them. John Eliot Gardiner very sensibly goes for the lot, adding Sei Lob und Preis mit Ehren (BWV231) and the little-known Der Gerechte kommt um which does not even have the benefit of a Schmieder number. As well as these, Gardiner also includes two short pieces which belong, at least nominally, to the cantata category, BWV50 and BWV118. In the case of the latter there is much justification for doing so for it's a single movement choral piece in motet style written for a funeral in about 1736 and revised for a performance around 1740. Here we have what sounds to me like a compromise; in other words the horns, cornetto and sackbuts of the first version (possibly intended for an open air occasion), with the strings and woodwind of the second. This may be explained in the texts, none of which has been included with my review copy…
Rebelling against the increasingly formulaic operas of the time, Christoph Willibald Gluck's "reformist" opera Alceste (1767) was a successful attempt to return to a purer form of musical drama. It is highly appropriate that this 1999 production of the revised 1776 Paris version should be conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, with the English Baroque Soloists and Monteverdi Choir, the same forces responsible for many fine Bach performances equally emphasizing character and text. In setting the tragic story of the profound love between Queen Alceste and her husband King Admète, Gluck provided a score of austere, rending beauty… By –Gary S. Dalkin
Like so many artists today, John Eliot Gardiner has recorded his work more than once, and as also so often happens, the remake isn't as good as the original. Not only did Gardiner's first version include a more interesting coupling (the Funeral Anthem for Queen Caroline, which Handel later adapted to become part one of Israel in Egypt), but it had a much better lineup of soloists. Here he suffers from a surfeit of strangulated British countertenors–one of the more frightening breeds of musical animal that has sprung up as a result of the authentic instrument movement, never mind that Handel almost never wrote for one. Enough said–if you want Gardiner in this music, then get him on Erato. –David Hurwitz
Philips have assembled international forces conducted by period instrument and historically informed performance specialist Sir John Eliot Gardiner. The studio recording was made at the Watford Colosseum following critically acclaimed concert performances and is said to be the first to be recorded in an English language version. Michael Cookson, MusicWeb-International.com.