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69 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes you just have to splash out....
There are some pieces you can get away with getting cheap recordings of, but when it comes to the monolothic Mass in B Minor I think it's well worth spending a few extra quid to get a good recording - or in this case, a near flawless one.
This massive, complex and enormously inflential work commands so much respect, it must be terrifying to perform it, but Gardiner's...
Published on 17 Jan. 2005 by count_mushnik

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too lifeless for my taste
It's a shame - we have one of the greatest masterpieces of all time, a renowned conductor - but we are given a reading of this majestic work that sounds as though Gardiner was simply going through the motions. For sure there is some very sensitive singing and some very tight and almost exciting choral work, but, overall, the performance seems strangely devoid of life. I...
Published on 19 Nov. 2010 by AbsoluteClassical


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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still my favourite, 1 Feb. 2013
This review is from: Bach: Mass in B minor (Audio CD)
I've had this recording for while, and it is still my favourite. The playing is, yes precise and clean (as if this is a bad thing?), but often sublime or full of energy. I particularly like the woodwind playing, as in the opening kyrie eleison or "et in spiritum sanctum" where the duetting bassoon and oboe accompany the aria. The Monteverdi choir and EBS are as usual excellent. The soloists all seem to be top notch. The acoustics is also not too echoy, so the performance is not 'lost' in it.

Of course this is all personal taste, so if thinking of buying this recording, then it is probably worth checking it out and comparing it with other recordings, as Gardiner seem to divide opinion!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 13 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Bach: Mass in B minor (Audio CD)
a must have classical addition to your collection - difficult to believe that this music still has a place in 2000
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18 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not by Deutsche Grammaphon but Archiv and very good, 11 Dec. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Bach: Mass in B minor (Audio CD)
An excellent English recording of this wonderful mass - well worth adding to the cd collection
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Better, 27 Mar. 2009
This review is from: Bach: Mass in B minor (Audio CD)
This CD is superb, I already had the same recording on tape and could find no better to get on CD
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3 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dial J for Jeggy, 6 Mar. 2012
By 
This review is from: Bach: Mass in B minor (Audio CD)
Heart in hand, I picked up the phone and dialled the UK number.

"Yes, yes, who is it?" a voice demanded snootily.

"Hello, it's Bernard here. Can I please speak with Jeggy - I'm sorry, Sir John Eliot Gardiner?"

"I am he! Now, what do you want? Make it fast! I'm about to be interviewed by BBC3. They're making a documentary on the Madrigal in the Seventeenth Century. I don't suppose you can help me with that!"

"Sir John, I'm a film-maker. We have a new production starting soon. We reckon you would be the ideal male-lead. I don't come empty-handed: there'd be big bucks in it for you, together with some additional perks and freebies . . . . . . Have you got five minutes?"

"Really? How wonderful. I have featured in quite a number of films such as the investitures of the Nobel Prize and my various pilgrimages throughout Europe - oh, how soothing they were! They inculcated the very spirit of Johann Sebastian Bach, the lodestar of my life! I imagine you have something similar in mind?"

"Sort of," I cleared my throat nervously. "Have you ever heard of the movie `The Bride of Frankenstein'? You know, where the buxom wench does it tough with Big Franky - the guy with the bolts in his neck!"

Jeggy paused.

"Somewhat," he admitted warily.

"Well, we're gonna make a sequel: `the Groom of Frankensteina'. We want you to be the hubby. We've already lined up Frankensteina herself: Big Shazza. She's one of my old squeezes. I left her with plenty of mileage on the clock. Once we broke up, Big Shazza put a feedbag on her head and attempted to break the bank down at the fried chicken shop. If you ask me, she's succeeded: she's been linked to the disappearance of circus tents across Australia! Jeggy, you might need a miner's lamp and grappling hooks for the wedding-night scenes but if your `hydraulics' are in workin' order, filming starts next month."

"What makes you think I am in the least bit interested in this balderdash?"

"Well Sir John, I have been listening to your B Minor Mass for nearly twenty five years and it's only now that I understand what a `Baroque Shop of Horrors' it actually is. No, I am not talking about the formula one-like speeds and semi-finished phrases in the Credo where your wretched orchestra cannot keep up with the choir; I am not drawing attention to your B-grade soloists or your complete lack of appreciation for the text itself (it's `tally ho' all the way); and I'd rather not comment on the lack of emotion throughout (trumpets and timpani can only conceal so much ice). No, the horror lies much deeper - that's why you're our man!"

"It's rather awful of you to say such horrid things!"

"Jeggy, you purged the work of its innate numinosity. That's a horror beyond redemption. What you have done - by any normal standard - is nauseous and yet you seem so blasé about it all. I'm impressed."

"I can't believe I'm listening to such tommyrot!"

"So Jeggy, here's the deal: if you can preside over such a horrific affair, there's no reason why you can't tackle Frankensteina's Hamburger Hill (I won't call it the Mount of Venus) with gusto! Rise to the occasion, Jeggy! What do you reckon, eh?"

"Begone you vial Australian!"

Bang - the phone-line went dead.
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