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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 10 June 2013
This is beautiful music, and the Monteverdi choir are brilliant. These are two of my favourite pieces of choral music, and to have them together on one CD is great.
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on 13 March 2003
It is very difficult to choose between this lovely recording of Handel's recently discovered Gloria and the inaugural recording by Emma Kirkby.

Both of the accounts are actually very similar, in terms of timing and style. Both singers are clear, high "bell" sopranos with excellent diction and a pleasing timbre. Emma Kirby gives a very characterful performance, just what you would expect if you are a fan of hers. But this is what nags me a bit about some classical singers - they tend to sound too much "like themselves" rather than what the composer intended, in this case Handel (the tenor Ian Bostridge makes me feel like this too - a beautiful voice, but there's a "sameness" about everything he sings).

While Handel would have relished either of these performances, I feel Gillian Keith has the edge. She is a smoother singer, without sacrificing the words, and very musical. The accompanying chamber group plays on authentic instruments of the period (not so on the EK recording) and above all, she is refreshingly new. I look forward to hearing more of her.

I would hope that both of these singers mutually admire and influence each other. In conclusion, if you really really like this piece it would be worth buying both versions, as it will enhance your appreciation of this lovely music.
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on 24 July 2006
Sir John Eliot's recording of these works are typically excellent.

Vivaldi's Gloria, so utterly driven to death by choral society tenors, is given a beautifully Italian drive (such as can be heard on Bartoli's Vivaldi album) and life to it that one is immediately pulled along. Particularly lovely is the soprano and oboe duet in Domine Deus.

The Handel Gloria still fails to be a favourite of mine, but Gillian Keith, a very fine soprano, gives a good reading here and is typical of her style - a lovely open and round sound, and one can see here why she is a prizewinning soloist.

The Dixit Dominus is perfect. It is without fault. Quite how the performers do not collapse in a heap halfway through I do not know. Everything is well judged, and the phrasing is exemplary. Another triumph for JEG & EBS that knocks the spots off others.
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I really enjoyed listening to this CD and cannot imagine that the majority of those people who appreciate Handel and Vivaldi's choral music would not also enjoy it.

I've heard a fair number of recordings and live performances of the Vivaldi Gloria, some of them excellent, (and sung in one or two), but none in which there was a greater sense of life and passion than the performance which starts this disc.

I had not previously heard the new Handel Gloria, so I can't compare the Gillian Keith recording on this disc with the Emma Kirby recording mentioned by other reviewers. In view of their positive comments about it I will try to get hold of the Emma Kirby recording, but in the meantime I will certainly still enjoy listening to the Gillian Keith version.

As for Dixit Dominus - what can I say, other than to echo the reviewer who was surprised that the singers didn't collapse half way through. The energy and enthusiasm was inspirational, and I would consider this CD to be good value for that performance alone.
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on 4 June 2002
Keith or Kirby? That one will run and run, I imagine. Both this recording by John Eliot Gardiner and Emma Kirby's radiant performance on the premiere with Laurence Cummings and the Royal Academy of Music's Baroque Orchestra (BIS, June 2001) have much to commend them. For me, Kirby's experience puts her a little ahead, but by contrast Gardiner calls forth richer instrumental tones from his players. We now also have other choices. The Gottingen Handel Festival Edition is a live recording from their 3 June 2001 gala performance with Dominique Labelle, soprano, the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and conductor Nicholas McGegan. And the Baroque Academy of Montreal offer another period instrument rendition on Atma Classique (ACD2 2215), accompanied by Bach and Vivaldi 'Glorias'.
Unquestionably, Gardiner's thoughtful account of the 'Dixit Dominus' is to be preferred to the archive one from 1986 on the BIS CD. But why the Vivaldi? There are better versions out there, and Gardiner of all people would have been capable of coming up with another matching Handel offering - say a Motet like 'Saeviat tellus inter rigores' or the Psalm 'Nisi Dominus'.
Still, this is a worthwhile disc. Handel's 'Gloria' is new enough to the general listening public to require a variety of interpretations and approaches. For my money Kirby will remain the benchmark soloist, but Keith has offered a spirited response.
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on 27 October 2010
This CD really changed the way that I listen to choral music. It's crystal-clear and John Eliot Gardiner has extracted a most brilliant sound from his performers. I bought this for the Dixit Dominus, and the singing in that was sufficient reward. However, the other pieces really complement it, especially the Handel Gloria, which really does deserve to be better known.
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on 20 January 2014
This disc shows JEG at his Baroque best - certainly my other recordings of the Gloria seem pedestrian by comparison. The whole disc is just wonderful. Highly recommended. Just don't expect your choral society to do these works at these speeds - it will undoubtedly be too fast if you need the recording solely for learning purposes - but get it anyway, just for the sheer pleasure of hearing such wonderful performances.
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on 16 February 2013
I can't rate this highly enough. Excellent recording by a fabulous choir of three exciting pieces of music.

Gloria patri e filio, et spiritui sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum, Amen. (Glory to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. Amen).
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on 21 May 2010
Brilliant choir, sparkling performances. Good diction & synchrony.
Makes the Dixit bounce along and sound easy, although it is fiendishly difficult.
Professional, masterful and a bargain!
Its so good, we bought and played it dozens of times...
Performance in Ripon Cathedral coming up Saturday 19th June 2010.
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on 2 August 2011
Delighted with CD. We shall be singing the Gloria in our local choir shortly, and have to learn it during the summer break. So I am listening a lot, following the score and singing along. To listen to the Monteverdi singers is a treat.
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