Customer Reviews


9 Reviews
5 star:
 (8)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
Most Helpful First | Newest First

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grandeur and Beauty, 13 Jun 2008
By 
Hedgehog (Colchester, Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bach in Notre-Dame de Paris: Mass In B Minor [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
I have known and loved Bach's Mass in B minor for decades, and the first recording I owned was by that great Bachian, Karl Richter. I have not seen his DVD of the work, but I suspect that in the light, or rather the sound of period performance experiences, I might find this a bit stodgy now. SkyArts have recently been broadcasting a performance from the Leipzig Bachfest 2005, conducted by Herbert Blomstedt, which I enjoyed on its first outing because of the outstanding HD quality. This is also available as a DVD. However, despite the very high standards of playing and singing from Gewandhaus forces, a direct comparison of Blomstedt's opening Kyrie with Nelson's DVD reveals an entirely different world. While Blomstedt is earnest, worthy and ultimately stolid, Nelson's performance is vital, joyous and profoundly moving.

The magnificent medieval edifice that is Notre-Dame de Paris is a perfect setting for Bach's monumental Baroque masterpiece. Simonnet's film evocatively places us in the square in front of Notre-Dame as the Easter sun sets. It is quite breathtaking when, as we contemplate the interior of the immense rose window, the great Kyrie suddenly rings out. We are then led through one of the huge doors into the body of the cathedral as the opening ritornello unfolds, moving around the vast space of the building. This is not a fussy effect, and the camera does not keep distracting us with architectural detail at the expense of experiencing the performance as a musical sequence. Clearly, it is entirely appropriate to use the fine altar Pieta as the Crucifixus plays, but direction is always apposite and relevant. Some people have commented on a 'busy' visual style; it is certainly quite mobile, but it is always focussed on what is happening in the music and on the performers. I found it totally enthralling because of the musical sensibility at work here. For instance, Simonnet is fully aware of the leads that Nelson is giving in complex contrapuntal choral sections, moving between conductor and chorus. The cutting adds dynamism to the musical flow and manages to convey visually that extraordinary impression of overlapping waves of sound that build upon one another to reach a massively powerful climax. This is, indeed, one of the best films of a musical performance I have seen.

The musical performance itself is outstanding. From the impact of the opening Kyrie, there is an inevitability of pace that leads us through this exalted landscape. Nelson has a superb grasp of the piece; I have already described above how he manages to build each choral section to a magnificent climax. Clearly, he adopts period practice, but never once do tempi feel rushed or inappropriate. What is particularly striking is the way in which, during the sections sung by soloists, he has the accompanying string or wind players stand. This raises their tonal status as equal partners in a series of ravishing, intertwining duets. The instrumentalists of the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris are all highly accomplished, and they have a unique relationship with the singers. It is very moving when mezzo Joyce DiDonato cannot resist a rapt smile as leader Deborah Nemtanu plays the exquisite introduction to her 'Laudamus te'. The vocal soloists are, without exception, excellent. If I single out Joyce DiDonato, mezzo, and Daniel Taylor, alto, it is because of their perfect match between technique and emotion.

The young singers of the Maitrise Notre-Dame de Paris are wonderfully responsive to Nelson's every demand. The sopranos have a radiant brightness, and the group as a whole has both flexibility and the necessary weight to delineate the full contours of Bach's choral architecture. Their singing is, above all, utterly joyous and life-enhancing.

The visual quality of this DVD is excellent, and the surround sound captures quite remarkably the profound and awesome acoustic, while never clouding the musical detail or losing impact. This is a beautifully realised film of a wonderful performance of a great choral masterpiece. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent performance, 22 Jan 2011
This review is from: Bach in Notre-Dame de Paris: Mass In B Minor [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Unusually, I bought this DVD without having read any review in e.g. Gramophone or International Record Review, but I'm very glad I did. Conductor John Nelson is not generally known for historically informed performances, but he has a light touch; as does the choir, in spite of being large and consisting exclusively of adults. The choir, by the way, sings holding the Baerenreiter Urtext of Bach's music, no lack of authenticity there! Tempos in general were also very good, rarely too extreme. The only disappointment was the accompanying leaflet, which gives just the most basic details; but I haven't taken this into account, the five stars are for the music making, that is top quality.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bach - Mass in B Minor in Notre Dame de Paris, 20 Mar 2010
By 
This review is from: Bach in Notre-Dame de Paris: Mass In B Minor [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
John NELSON directs the Ensemble Orhestral de Paris to produce in my opinion a Divine Experience that Bach him self would have applauded.
This profoundly Spiritual Mass is one of Bach's greatest works which he completed under his own volition and took no payment.
It perhaps was his crowning glory.

The Maitrise Notre Dame de Paris is supurb through out the performance and compliment the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris. Gorgeous music is punctuated by Ruth Ziesak(Soprano), Joyce DiDonato (Mezze-Soprano), Daniel Taylor (Alto), and Dietrich Henschel (Baryton) inspiring performances.

If music was ever able to deliver man into the hand of God, this performance is the very stuff !
Puchase of the product and its delivery was simple and straight forward.
Amazon brought heaven to my home with ease and speed.... Thank you
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Grows on you, 19 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bach in Notre-Dame de Paris: Mass In B Minor [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
I bought this originally because Joyce DiDonato was on it and I was not disappointed, although more of that later.
The recording does not start well with the orchestra and choir seeming to find the Kyrie uninspiring. But as the pieced progresses, Bach's intentions come to the fore and all get together to make a really good performance. The visuals have some nice touches with a shot through the bass player's bow and a reaction-shot, late in the piece showing DiDonato's reaction to the music. Most inserts with DVDs and blu-rays are pretty boring but this one is just bad. Shiney and flashy but bad. They do not even seem to know what language it should be in with French terms scattered among the English.
But to Didonato. Although the mezzo has only a small part in this piece, she shines and none more than in the Laudamas te duet with Deborah Nemtanu who was a revelation to me. What a violinist! I am looking forward to her doing some more DVDs.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Homage, 2 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bach in Notre-Dame de Paris: Mass In B Minor [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
John Nelson is never less than thought provoking in what he says about work he interprets whether it be for examples JS Bach or Beethoven. Along with other contributors to a verbal understanding of this Meisterwerk a fine introduction is provided to prepare for the work itself which unfolds with spectacular effect in the august confines of Notre Dame Cathedral,Paris. The resident choir of the Cathedral deliver a diversity of vocal sound which is very different from other versions I have heard but shares some of the high points in terms of impact. It is a young choir and so in a way links to Bach's own composing for the Thomaskirche boy's choir. The voice levels are markedly different to the slightly older choir in the Blomstedt Thomaskirche dvd version . Maturity in the singing voice reaches its peak in the fourties so there is much to be enjoyed in comparing and contrasting the differing levels which evinces ample recognition to the richness of this work. Soloists Dietrich Henschel and Ruth Ziesak, performers in the Thomaskirche dvd version of the piece reappear with subtle differences in their delivery. The organ work is much less prominent in this version but I like diversity in understanding sacred works so buying this version as a complement to the Thomaskirche version is beneficial.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Great music., 12 Jun 2013
By 
D. Gumaste (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bach in Notre-Dame de Paris: Mass In B Minor [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
excellent performance of this great piece by Bach.

I would recommend it to all Bach fans. I thoroughly enjoy listening to this piece.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Great performance of a great work., 29 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bach in Notre-Dame de Paris: Mass In B Minor [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
This is the best live recording I have heard. The production is excellent. Sound recording top quality. Musicianship all perfect.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Bach B Minor Mass, 16 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bach in Notre-Dame de Paris: Mass In B Minor [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
I have always loved the B minor mass and this rendition is as good as any other I`ve heard, if not better
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding music, wonderful performance, 7 Jun 2011
This review is from: Bach in Notre-Dame de Paris: Mass In B Minor [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
The Mass in B Minor is the summit of J S Bach's achievements. This recording of it has been beautifully performed and sensitively filmed.

I would have liked to have been the given the Latin text, along with the translationwhich is shown in the subtitling, but that is a small quibble.

I highly recommend this dvd. It is well worth purchasing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xaddbdda4)

This product

Bach in Notre-Dame de Paris: Mass In B Minor [DVD] [2008]
Bach in Notre-Dame de Paris: Mass In B Minor [DVD] [2008] by Ensemble Orchestral de Paris (DVD - 2007)
10.15
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews