Baroque Vocal: John Eliot Gardiner and His Monteverdi Choir Revisit-And Revivify-Bach's Motets

By Freeman-Attwood, Jonathan | Gramophone, September 2013 | Go to article overview

Baroque Vocal: John Eliot Gardiner and His Monteverdi Choir Revisit-And Revivify-Bach's Motets


Freeman-Attwood, Jonathan, Gramophone


Winner

JS Bach Motets

Occasionally a recording appears which you know represents a special landmark in a long-term collaboration. Amid a strong field in the vocal category (John Butt's stunningly probing vision of Bach's St John Passion, Harry Christophers's sympathetic yet dynamic approach to Handel's Saul, or Sandrine Piau's radiant recital of French Baroquery could all have won), the Monteverdi Choir and John Eliot Gardiner find a new gear in their 30-year journey with Bach's motets. A questing energy, drawn from the heart of the text, explodes this holy grail of vocal polyphony towards startlingly fresh and illuminated readings.

Gardiner himself (just like a recently retired footballing co-knight in the north-west) will recall the 'teams' which during those decades presented him with especially remarkable performances (of the motets). The works appeared within the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage in 2000 and one can recall the less durable results of the Erato recordings made in 1980 (released 1982), but these latest accounts represent a consciously considered reappraisal as Gardiner strips the music back, defying the temptation to default and delivering high-stakes performances in the spirit of the famous French high-wire artist Philippe Petit, who appropriately graces the cover.

These performances won't be everyone's cup of tea. There are many other recordings more at ease in the heartlands of devotional intimacy and warmth and Gardiner does occasionally preside over some uncomfortably visceral rhetorical jolts. Yet Bach's motets invite endless possibilities. I would defy anyone not to revel in the tactile textural and dynamic exchanges in Lobet den Herm and Singet dem Herm, the sweetness and deft timing throughout Jot, meine Freude (this has a strangely affecting impact) and the collective focus in the fine Weimar funeral piece Fiirchte dich nicht, where vocal control touchingly remains at the service of the mysteries within 'thy blood for my sake in death'. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Baroque Vocal: John Eliot Gardiner and His Monteverdi Choir Revisit-And Revivify-Bach's Motets
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.