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Bach: Magnificat; Vivaldi: Gloria / Marriner

Release Date: 11/08/1991 
Label:  Warner Classics   Catalog #: 54283   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian BachAntonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Barbara HendricksJorma HynninenAnn MurrayJean Rigby
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the FieldsAcademy of St. Martin in the Fields Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 56 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This new release of Bach's Magnificat in its later D major version and the better known of Vivaldi's two D major settings of the Gloria offers an attractive programme. Sir Neville Marriner has chosen a strong team of vocal soloists whose styles are complementary to one another; and the Academy Chorus (under Laszlo Heltay's direction) makes a vivid contribution, too. This is not to say that I enjoyed without reservation all that I heard, though for the most part listeners will appreciate the radiant quality of these performances. In the Magnificat I was especially struck by the rhythmic and notational precision of the choral singing but somewhat disappointed by the soprano, mezzo-soprano and alto trio, ''Suscepit Israel'', which sounded a Read more little bland and technically strained at times. The tenor, Uwe Heilmann—a new name to me though not, I see, to the catalogue—managed the ''Deposuit potentes'' fluently though I was less taken with his occasional habit of scooping up to the centre of his notes. The bass, Jorma Hynninen gives a sensitive account of ''Quia fecit mihi magna'' and both Barbara Hendricks and Ann Murray are expressive in the ''Quia respexit'' and ''Et exultavit'' respectively. Marriner's tempos are effectively judged and, as I say, the chorus is admirably responsive to his baton.

Vivaldi's evergreen choral masterpiece comes over convincingly too, with some notably affecting singing by the choir in the ''Et in terra pax hominibus''. Marriner favours a very leisurely tempo here, indeed I felt that it was a shade too slow but in fact the music holds together well at this pace, enabling the listener to enjoy details which are often lost with a faster beat. Hendricks and Murray are pleasingly balanced in the ''Laudamus te'' though there was too much vibrato here for my ears. As in the Bach, the choir is on splendid form throughout, achieving clear textures, incisive entries and an effectively homogeneous sound.

The ASMF are disciplined and warm in sound, and there are strong contributions from Celia Nicklin who plays the oboe d'amore obbligato in the ''Quia respexit'' of the Magnificat and the oboe obbligato in the ''Domine Deus'' of the Gloria. Only in the introductory movement of the Bach did I detect some uneasiness in ensemble and discrepancy of pitch. In other respects this new issue offers healthy competition with the recent Chandos performances of the same works by Richard Hickox; he, however, additionally gives us Vivaldi's ''Introduzione'' for solo soprano, Ostro picta which probably belongs to the Gloria. I would not be without this delightful piece, especially when sung as beautifully as it is by Emma Kirkby. In other respects too, Hickox's recording has greater appeal for me but readers who have a problem with period instruments may well prefer Marriner's performances and they are unlikely to be disappointed.

-- Nicholas Anderson, Gramophone [3/1992]
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Works on This Recording

Magnificat in D major, BWV 243 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Barbara Hendricks (Soprano), Jorma Hynninen (Baritone), Ann Murray (Mezzo Soprano),
Jean Rigby (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chorus
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1728-1731; Leipzig, Germany 
Language: Latin 
Gloria in D major, RV 589 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Ann Murray (Mezzo Soprano), Barbara Hendricks (Soprano), Jean Rigby (Soprano),
Jorma Hynninen (Baritone)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chorus
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Language: Latin 

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