Magazine article Gramophone

'Cantatas Vol 26: Long Melford'

Magazine article Gramophone

'Cantatas Vol 26: Long Melford'

Article excerpt

'Cantatas Vol 26: Long Melford'

Cantatas Nos 34, 59, 68, 74, 172-74

Lisa Larsson sop Nathalie Stutzmann contr Derek Lee Ragin counterten Christoph Genz ten Panajotis Iconomou bass Monteverdi Choir; English Baroque Soloists/Sir John Eliot Gardiner

Soli Deo Gloria (2) SDG121 (116' * DDD * T/t) Recorded live at Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford on June 11 & 12, 2000

John Eliot Gardiner's Pilgrimage continues to surprise with revisited performances, this time from Long Melford, Suffolk, with seven cantatas for Whitsuntide. Are the most durable readings being singled out for selection now? If so, the policy of carpe diem is reaping dividends in another volume of virtuoso ensemble performances. The Monteverdi Choir of this millennial generation is leaner, less exaggerated and driven in Bach than in the 1980s and early '90s. The opening chorus of No 68, a quite breathtakingly evocative siciliana on redemption by faith, is afforded the most deeply felt performance since Fritz Werner (Erato); though for all its vim, the brilliantly contrasted soprano aria 'Mein glaubiges Herze ('My heart ever faithful', as generations of English

Christoph Genz's urgent rendering of 'Kommt, eilet' from No 74, a feat only surpassed in the rage aria, 'Nichts kann ('nothing can deliver me from Hell's shackles'), where extreme operatic theatricality is met rather more successfully by the orchestra than the struggling projection of soloist Derek Lee Ragin. …

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