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Bach: Motets [2011] [SDG: SDG716] CD

4.7 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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  • Bach: Motets [2011] [SDG: SDG716]
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  • Bach: Easter Oratorio [Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner] [SDG: SDG719]
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Product details

  • Performer: John Eliot Gardiner
  • Orchestra: Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists
  • Conductor: John Eliot Gardiner
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (30 April 2012)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: sdg
  • ASIN: B007NUP6GS
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,883 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Thirty years on from their acclaimed recording for Erato, Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir return to the Bach Motets in a new SDG recording, taken from a concert in London last year at the end of a tour which saw performances in Italy, France, The Netherlands and Germany. The Motets can be seen as some of Bach's most perfect and hypnotic compositions. Through their extraordinary complexity and density, they require exceptional virtuosity and sensitivity of all the performers. Each of them is endlessly fascinating, and each inhabits its own sound world, Bach's masterful use of canon, fugue and counterpoint, the brilliant exploitation of double-choir sonorities are perfectly matched by the Monteverdi Choir's virtuosity.

Review

''If all the world's depressed people had somehow been squeezed into St Johns to hear this concert, the pharmaceutical companies would be out of business. Who needs pills to lift the spirits when we have the six Bach motets, and John Eliot Gardiners Monteverdi Choir to sing them?'' --The Times *****

''Lightness of touch and consistent momentum the Monteverdi Choir was on supreme form.'' --The Guardian *****

''Six short works for double choir reveal joy in the praise of God and bare composer's gift for contrapuntal tapestry. **** --Financial Times, 05/05/12

''This is a very impressive new recording of the Brahms German Requiem. John Elliot Gardiner conducts with warmth and the textures of the work have a vibrancy and immediacy that is wholly to its advantage.'' --IRR, May'12

''Gardiner challenges orthodoxy in how these a cappella holy grails are fundamentally signposted with persuasive passion and zeal.'' GRAMOPHONE RECORDING OF THE MONTH --Gramophone, Aug'12

''Fresh insights continually ambush the listener.'' Performance ***** Recording ***** BBC MUSIC CHORAL AND SONG CHOICE. --BBC Music Magazine, Aug'12

Gardiner challenges orthodoxy in how these a cappella holy grails are fundamentally signposted with persuasive passion and zeal. GRAMOPHONE RECORDING OF THE MONTH --Gramophone, Aug'12

Fresh insights continually ambush the listener. Performance ***** Recording ***** BBC MUSIC CHORAL AND SONG CHOICE --BBC Music Magazine, Aug'12

Critics' Choice 2012 --Gramophone, Christmas'12

Fresh insights continually ambush the listener. Performance ***** Recording ***** BBC MUSIC CHORAL AND SONG CHOICE --BBC Music Magazine, Aug'12

Gardiner's Monterverdi Choir...bring these motets fully to life with arresting clarity and vocal precision. Highly Recommended. --IRR, Dec'12

Fresh insights continually ambush the listener. Performance ***** Recording ***** BBC MUSIC CHORAL AND SONG CHOICE --BBC Music Magazine, Aug'12

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
There are many nice recordings of the Bach motets, and it would be a brave (wo)man who would say definitively that one or other was the best (where "best" generally means "I like this one better than those ones"). This is Gardiner's second time, I think (he did them years ago for Erato). As usual with Gardiner, these are captured in live performance (does he anaesthesise the audience?). They are very nice performances, the stars of the show being, as usual, the Monteverdis, who sing absolutely gorgeously. The solo parts are sung by members of the Monteverdi Choir, so they don't really stand out as stars with highlighting, but somehow this suits the character of the music - and this would have been the way that Bach himself would have performed them. And of course, it is Bach, with all the incredible genius of the man. The quality of the recording is excellent. Another winner for SDG.
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By Sid Nuncius #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 28 Aug. 2013
Format: Audio CD
This is a terrific recording of Bach's six motets. There have been many fine performances in the past, but this matches the best, I'd say.

John Eliot Gardiner and his Monteverdi Choir have made Bach's music the centre of their repertoire for may years now and they have an exceptional insight into and understanding of these works as a result. It shows here in the great variety between motets and the widely differing but always appropriate approach Gardiner takes to each movement. The opening of Komm, Jesu, Komm, for example, is tenderly yearning, while the opening of Singet dem Herrn is performed with a restrained but intense, complex and incredibly precise rhythmic pulse. It is exemplary Bach singing to my ears.

The recording (of a live performance but with no audience audible anywhere on the disc) is excellent and the notes very good. I don't think you can do better than this for a performance of the motets; however much I love my old Hilliard Ensemble and Ton Koopman recordings, this is the one I think I would keep above all others. Very warmly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this because of a newspaper review and I put it on this morning whilst doing revision for an Open University exam. It is simply beautiful! A brilliant recording and wonderful singing make this very special. I am a fan of Gardiner anyway, especially in this type of music, and he rarely disappoints.

So if you like choral music you won't find a better new release than this. Buy it!

PS Now a few months later and listening to it on my new hifi and it is, if that's possible, even better. A stunning CD. I'd give it 6 stars if I could!
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Though a long term fan of the Monteverdi Choir, it never ceases to amaze me how damned good they are. And considering this recording was live, good just doesn't say it all. In fact, many superlatives don't do this choir justice. The best way to make one's own mind up is to sample it for real. With this kind of performance a 6th star is needed!
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Format: Audio CD
I have loved Bach for years but did not know his motets until a rave review in 'Gramophone' directed me to this new recording. Bach's sound-world is not to everyone's taste. Some find it austere when set against the brilliant classicism of Mozart, pulsating inspiration of Beethoven, sublime lyricism of Schuber or the monumental romanticism of Mahler. But, like Schubert, Bach is the quintessence of 'less is more' and that is no better illustrated than in this wonderful recording.

Magnificent singing reveals all the glories of Bach. Imbued with the essential Bach - devotion to his God, beautiful tunes, wonderful harmonies - Eliot Gardiner's life-long service to the great composer is once again enhanced by this tremendous addition to his discography. Do not miss it!
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I bought a used copy and cannot understand why the previous owner could bear to part with it. Truly beautiful and inspiring music, wonderfully performed and excellently introduced by John Eliot Gardener's helpful and enthusiastic introduction.
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I impulse bought this cd and love it, it makes Bach sound mint fresh brand new, makes you feel as if your brain has been taken out, washed in clean cool water, and put back in again!
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I usually enjoy recordings by the Monteverdi choir very much but on this occasion I was disappointed. Whilst the choir appears to be on fine form the recording itself has exaggerated the sibilant sounds to such an extent that the vocal hisses are frequently overwhelming. This is a common difficulty with recording choral music that the Monteverdi Choir usually seem to escape but on this occasion it seems to have been overlooked. The result is sometimes merely irritating but in pieces such as Der Geist hilf unser Schwachheit auf and bits of Jesu, meine Freude the choir appear to have been replaced by a family of angry snakes which has completely ruined the recorded performance.
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