33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Vivaldi - Gloria; Bach - Magnificat (Audio CD)
There's some misinformation here. The Gloria is by Ward but the Magnificat is by Summerly. Both are culled from other Naxos discs so if you don't like the couplings here (or need yet another recording of the work), you can find the same recordings with other pairings.
The Summerly, however, is quite good. I have about 16 recordings of the Magnificat in D and this is one of the best HIP renditions of the work. The entry of the chorus in movement one is a difficult spot in many recordings because the vocals come in just as the full orchestra stops and often the singers can't sustain the volume and the result is a big drop-out in sound; not so here. Likewise the choral entry in the fourth movement is handled equally well. The tenth movement is given to the chorus (Bach was unclear about whether this is was intended for a semi-chorus or for soloists), which is rare for a HIP version, and the fugue subject of the eleventh movement is reinvented by the addition of a neat little grace note. But the best moment is in the transition from the first half of the final movement to the second. Every other conductor I've heard (save a very old live recording by Klemperer) gives us a climax, a beat or two of silence, then the music begins again. Here it is a continuous piece of music with an excellent timpani roll (it's in the score) to bridge the two halves. And on top of all that, you get a really tight chorus that functions as a single entity.
A very fine Magnificat, and at this price you can't go wrong.