GRAMOLA, 1 CD
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Past year’s Easter Concert of the Bach Consort Vienna, conducted by Ruben Dubrovsky in the Basilica of Klosterneuburg
Monastery, featured works by Antonio Vivaldi, which he composed during his engagement with the orphanage Ospedale della Pietà
in Venice. The young girls growing up there received early musical training, which led the choir and orchestra of the Ospedale to
become internationally acclaimed. This concert recording by Bach Consort Vienna with soloists Andreas Scholl, alto, Hanna
Herfurtner and Joowon Chung, soprano and the Salzburg Bach Choir combines instrumentals like the Sonata a quatro in E-flat
major “Al Santo Sepolcro”, RV 130 and the Concerto in G minor, RV 156 with the liturgical works Stabat Mater, RV 621 and Gloria,
RV 589, written for Easter.
Bach Consort Wien
Founded in 1999, the Bach Consort Vienna under the baton of Rubén Dubrovsky soon grew into one of the most important
Baroque Ensembles of Austria. Next to several performances at the Vienna Musikverein, the ensemble is ever-present on different
European concert stages. Internationally renowned artists, such as Bernarda Fink and Christophe Coin, are closely connected to the
Bach Consort Vienna as guest soloists.
Andreas Scholl (countertenor)
has released a series of exceptional solo recordings, most recently Wanderer – an album with German lieder together with pianist
Tamar Halperin on the Decca label. Scholl has performed concerts with the Berlin Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, the
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Academy of Ancient Music. In 2005, he performed at the Last Night of the Proms in
London – as the first countertenor in the history of the Proms.
|1||Concerto in g-Moll, RV 156|
|Sonata a quatro in Es-Dur "Al Santo Sepolcro",…|
|4||I Largo molto||1:55||0.99€|
|5||II Allegro ma un poco andante||1:42||0.99€|
|Filiae Maestae Jerusalem - Introduzione al Mis…|
|6||I Recitativo - Adagio||2:09||0.99€|
|7||II Aria - Largo||6:54||1.59€|
|8||III Recitativo - Adagio||0:55||0.99€|
|Stabat Mater, RV 621|
|9||I Stabat Mater dolorosa - Largo||2:48||0.99€|
|10||II Cuius animam gementem - Adagissimo||1:28||0.99€|
|11||III O quam tristis - Andante||1:35||0.99€|
|12||IV Quis est homo - Largo||2:36||0.99€|
|13||V Quis non posset - Adagissimo||1:42||0.99€|
|14||VI Pro peccatis suae gentis - Andante||1:34||0.99€|
|15||VII Eia, mater, fons amoris - Largo||2:43||0.99€|
|16||VIII Fac, ut ardeat - Lento||1:28||0.99€|
|17||IX Amen - Allegro||0:57||0.99€|
|Lauda Jerusalem, RV 609|
|Gloria, RV 589|
|19||I Gloria in excelsis Deo - Alleg…||2:16||0.99€|
|20||II Et in terra pax - Andante||4:48||0.99€|
|21||III Laudamus te - Allegro||2:16||0.99€|
|22||IV Gratias agimus tibi - Adagio, Allegro||1:16||0.99€|
|23||V Domine Deus, Rex celestis - Largo||4:01||0.99€|
|24||VI Domine Fili unigenite - Allegro||2:17||0.99€|
|25||VII Domine Deus, Agnus Dei - Adagio||4:06||0.99€|
|26||VIII Qui tollis peccata mundi - Adagio||0:56||0.99€|
|27||IX Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris - Allegro||2:13||0.99€|
|28||X Quoniam tu solus Sanctus - Allegro||0:45||0.99€|
|29||XI Cum Sancto Spiritu - Allegro||3:06||0.99€|
Sometime you may want to just sit back and listen to a concert performance of music more or less predictable but of a certain quality and cleverness and sufficiently entertaining (Vivaldi, of course!) to satisfy either focused or more casual attention, presented in a program well chosen to engage a seated, paying audience. Whatever you think of Vivaldi, he was a highly competent and skilled master of style (Bach certainly thought so), and most composers would love to have a couple of pieces along the lines of The Four Seasons or Gloria guaranteed to draw in a significant audience, who would then get to listen to some of their other works—like a concerto grosso, or a motet for solo voice.
And sure enough, we have the famous Gloria to end the concert—another smart programming move—before which we enjoy, yes a concerto grosso, plus a few smaller, lesser-known pieces along with another “hit”, a showpiece for alto voice, the Stabat Mater. And for me, the real draw here is countertenor Andreas Scholl. Not having heard him either in concert or on disc for several years, and because he has always been on my list of the world’s top two or three countertenors, I was curious to hear how he’s doing—this performance was recorded in April, 2017, an Easter concert at a church in Lower Austria. The answer is: he’s doing very well. In fact, if you compare his performance of the Stabat Mater from a late-1990s recording on Harmonia Mundi with this one, vocally it’s hard to tell the difference (the overall sound on the present disc is slightly more full and present). All the same attributes I mentioned in several reviews of Scholl’s singing more than 10 years ago (see reviews archive) are still very much alive and equally impressive: the same pure, unforced, natural vocal quality; the consummate musicianship and interpretive instincts—including his masterful phrasing and use of color. It’s all there, and if you haven’t heard it, you should.
It’s also nice to hear his rendition of the motet Filiae Maestae Jerusalem RV 638. Captivating, entrancing–either description will suffice. And we also are sure to be equally captivated and entranced—or perhaps energized is more appropriate—by the Lauda Jerusalem RV 609, Vivaldi’s exciting and vigorous setting of Psalm 147 for double choir and two soprano soloists. The soloists are excellent, and the choir and orchestra as spirited and articulate as we could wish for. The Gloria is, well, the Gloria. It’s not a bad piece; in fact, it’s a fine work that simply suffers from overwork. It’s impossible to hear it fresh when you’ve heard it a million times and you know every note. But still, this is a very good–again, spirited–performance, with the same first-rate soloists and top-notch choir and orchestra. My only complaint here is the choir’s slightly shaky intonation in a few spots (such as the Et in terra pax)—but this is what can happen in a concert performance and it’s only temporary. Oh, and the producers of the recording couldn’t resist including some applause at the end.