domenica 5 ottobre 2014

J.S.Bach - Christmas Oratorio

2 CD - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 223 Mb

As you might expect, Herreweghe's account of the Christmas Oratorio is as authoritative as any. His orchestra and choir are lively but always precise and his soloists all excel. Most impressively, Herreweghe is able to marshal his impressive forces to create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. The Christmas Oratorio isn't the most coherent of Bach's works, but Herreweghe brings it all together, not so much by imposing architecture as by maintaining the flow of the music and not letting any single movement stand out too much from its surroundings.

The general mood of this performance is surprisingly relaxed. Even from the outset, the solo timpani in the opening bars sound curiously flaccid, and the orchestral and choral textures that follow are warm and round rather than punchy and focussed. The use of such a large choir in a period performance is unusual, but their precision and agility more than justify the numbers.

The number of orchestral players is not given, but the string section also sounds relatively large. The wind soloists put in some great performances, but Herreweghe always makes sure that the obbligato lines are subservient to the solo voices. Marcel Ponseele plays first oboe, and with more restraint than on the Kuijken recordings. He also spends a fair proportion of the work playing oboe d'amore. It is great to hear a virtuoso performance on that unduly neglected instrument.

The vocal soloists form a well-matched group. In keeping with this relaxed performance, none is required to take anything to excess, giving the recitatives, and especially the arias, an almost conversational feeling of flow. The lion's share of the vocal work goes to Howard Crook as the Evangelist, and his light but characterful voice is ideal for the part. He often introduces solo numbers by the other singers and each time the timbral similarities between them make for an almost seamless transition. In any other context, these vocal performances could be criticised for lack of power and projection, but here the performances are ideal. Fans of Michael Chance and Peter Kooy might want to track this recording down for their performances. In 1989, both men were at the height of their powers, and Herreweghe makes sure he gets the best from both of them.

So why the relaxed tone in so much of this music? Well, by reducing the musical drama, Herreweghe is able to present the Oratorio as a more coherent entity. Also, the continuously celebratory major music that makes up so much of the work can get monotonous when presented in more boisterous recordings – introducing a sense of intimacy and poise creates more variety if nothing else. The recording also cleverly counters a range of stereotypes about the period performance movement. The idea that such ensembles are always small, always play fast and always go for spiky, angular sonorities, is countered by every aspect of this recording. The choir and orchestra are large, the tempos are relaxed, and the sound is warm. Herreweghe has plenty of austere period performance recordings to his name, but he is clearly open to other ideas as well.

-- Gavin Dixon, MusicWeb International


1. Part I: Jauchzet, Frohlocket!, Chorus
2. Part I: Es Begab Sich Aber Zu Der Zeit, Recitative
3. Part I: Nun Wird Mein Liebster BrÄUtigam, Recitative
4. Part I: Bereite Sich, Zion, Alto Aria
5. Part I: Wie Soll Ich Dich Empfangen, Chorale
6. Part I: Und Sie Gebar Ihren Ersten Sohn, Recitative
7. Part I: Er Ist Auf Erden Kommen Arm, Chorale For Soprano And Bass
8. Part I: Wer Kann Die Liebe Recht ErhÖH'n, Bass Recitative
9. Part I: Grosser Herr Und Starker KÖNig, Bass Aria
10. Part I: Ach, Mein Herzliebes Jesulein!, Chorale
11. Part II: Sinfonia
12. Part II: Und Es Waren Hirten, Tenor Recitative
13. Part II: Brich An, O SchÖNes Morgenlicht, Chorale
14. Part II: Und Der Engel Sprach Zu Ihnen, Recitative For Tenor & Soprano
15. Part II: Was Gott Dem Abraham Verheissen, Bass Recitative
16. Part II: Frohe Hirten, Eilt, Tenor Aria
17. Part II: Und Das Habt Zum Zeichen, Tenor Recitative
18. Part II: Schaut Hin!, Chorale
19. Part II: So Geht Denn Hin!, Bass Recitative
20. Part II: Schlafe, Mein Liebster, Alto Aria
21. Part II: Und Alsobald War Da Bei Dem Engel, Tenor Recitative
22. Part II: Ehre Sei Gott In Der HÖHe, Chorale
23. Part II: So Recht, Ihr Engel, Bass Recitative
24. Part II: Wir Singen Dir In Deinem Heer, Chorale
25. Part III: Herscher Des Himmels, Chorus
26. Part III: Und Da Die Engel Von Ihnen Gen Himmel FÜHren, Tenor Recitative
27. Part III: Lasset Uns Nun Gehen Gen Bethlehem, Chorus
28. Part III: Er Hat Sein Volk GetrÖSt, Bass Recitative
29. Part III: Dies Hat Er Alles Uns Getan, Chorale
30. Part III: Herr, Dein Mitleid, Dein Erbarmen, Duet For Soprano & Bass
31. Part III: Und Sie Kamen Eilend, Tenor Recitative
32. Part III: Schliesse, Mein Herze, Dies Selige Wunder, Alto Aria
33. Part III: Ja, Ja! Mein Herz Soll Es Bewahren, Alto Recitative
34. Part III: Ich Will Dich Mit Fleiss Bewahren, Chorale
35. Part III: Und Die Hirten Kehrten Wieder Um, Tenor Recitative
36. Part III: Seid Froh, Dieweil, Dass Euer Heil, Chorale
37. Part IV: Fallt Mit Danken, Fallt Mit Loben, Chorus
38. Part IV: Und Da Acht Tage Um Waren, Tenor Recitative
39. Part IV: Immanuel, O SÜSses Wort, Recitative For Soprano & Bass
40. Part IV: Jesu Du, Mein Liebstes Leben/Komm!, Ich Will Dich Mit Lust Umfassen, Ar
41. Part IV: FlÖSst, Mein Heiland, Aria For 2 Sopranos
42. Part IV: Wohlan! Dein Name Soll Allein, Recitative & Arioso For Soprano & Bass
43. Part IV: Ich Will Nur Dir Zu Ehren Leben, Tenor Aria
44. Part IV: Jesus Richte Mein Beginnen, Chorale
45. Part V: Ehre Sei Dir, Gott, Gesungen, Chorus
46. Part V: Da Jesus Geboren War Zu Bethlehem, Recitative
47. Part V: Wo Ist Der Neugeborne KÖNig Der Juden?, Chorus & Recitative
48. Part V: Dein Glanz All'finsternis Verzehrt, Chorale
49. Part V: Erleucht' Auch Meine Finstre Sinnen, Bass Aria
50. Part V: Da Das Der KÖNig Herodes HÖRte, Tenor Recitative
51. Part V: Warum Wollt Ihr Erschrecken, Alto Recitative
52. Part V: Und Liess Versammeln Alle Hohenpriester, Tenor Recitative
53. Part V: Ach, Wenn Wird Die Zeit Erscheinen?, Trio For Soprano, Alto, & Tenor
54. Part V: Mein Liebster Herrschet Schon, Alto Recitative
55. Part V: Zwar Ist Solche Herzensstube, Chorale
56. Part VI: Herr, Wenn Die Stolzen Feinde Schnauben, Chorus
57. Part VI: Da Berief Herodes Die Weisen Heimlich, Tenor Recitative
58. Part VI: Du Falscher, Suche Nur Den Herrn Zu FÄLlen, Soprano Recitative
59. Part VI: Nur Ein Wink, Soprano Aria
60. Part VI: Als Sie Nun Den KÖNig, Tenor Recitative
61. Part VI: Ich Steh' An Deiner Krippen Hier, Chorale
62. Part VI: Und Gott Befahl Ihnen Im Traum, Tenor Recitative
63. Part VI: So Geht! Genug, Mein Schatz, Tenor Recitative
64. Part VI: Nun MÖGt Ihr Stolzen Feinde Schrecken, Tenor Aria
65. Part VI: Was Will Der HÖLle Schrecken Nun, Choral Recitative
66. Part VI: Nun Seid Ihr Wohl Gerochen, Chorale

Barbara Schlick, soprano
Michael Chance, countertenor
Howard Crook, tenor   
Peter Kooy, bass

Collegium Vocale Ghent
dir. Philippe Herreweghe

2 commenti:


  2. Bravissimo e mille grazie!