Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Antonin Dvorak, Robert Shaw, Christine Goerke|
Dvorak - Stabat Mater / Goerke · M. Simpson · Olsen · N. Berg · Atlanta SO · R. Shaw
Genres: Miscellaneous, Classical
Conductor Robert Shaw's death three months after this recording was made brought to an unexpected close a rare and distinguished career that always was dominated by Shaw's activities as a choral conductor. As with Leonard ... more »
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Conductor Robert Shaw's death three months after this recording was made brought to an unexpected close a rare and distinguished career that always was dominated by Shaw's activities as a choral conductor. As with Leonard Bernstein's final recording--a live concert performance at Tanglewood--there is a sense of determination and drive and assuredness in this Dvorák performance that can come only from a lifetime of experience, of being involved, of being constantly in the midst of the action. Shaw's even-handed manner throughout--no extremes of tempo or dynamics, none of the quirky phrasing conductors sometimes exhibit late in their careers--owes much to the fact that he gave long consideration to this piece, and knew exactly what he wanted. Not surprisingly, Telarc's recording sets the balance in favor of the chorus, and Shaw has no problem letting the singers really sing out, especially in the frequent climaxes. Consonants tend toward the hard side, vowels are open: this is a true American chorus, the very concept of which Shaw spent a lifetime refining and nurturing. This Stabat Mater is a very big piece, and it can be quite unwieldy because nearly all of its 10 movements require different combinations of performing forces, from chorus alone to solo quartet to different soloists with chorus. Shaw makes sure that everything moves and flows, and the Telarc engineers capture every quiet ripple and surging crescendo. Sometimes the placement of soloists seems too close, and occasionally, Shaw's beat is just too deliberate for text and music--especially in the delicate opening movement choral passages. But together, these soloists are the best on disc, and Shaw's orchestra gives him everything a conductor could ask. All concerned have much to be proud of here--a first rate production about which Shaw must still be smiling. --David Vernier
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Fitting final recording for RS
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had the pleasure of singing in the chorus for this recording. The piece was one that was unfamiliar to me, however, it grew on me over time and largely due to Shaw's deep committment to the work. Fittingly, it was the first time Shaw had ever conducted the work. He was continually challenging himself in his final years--always reaching out for new repertoire to bring to audiences. Dvorak's Stabat Mater is indeed a worthy piece. The recording sessions went very smoothly as we finished with some hours of recording time left unused. Some of the movements were done in only two takes. I remember one of the Telarc folks saying it had been a "remarkable experience" as we finished the session. Little did we know it was to be our final one with Robert. For me, my favorite moment, is in the final movement (In Paradisum) in the a cappella homophonic declamatory choral passage. It still has the ability to both thrill me and bring tears to my eyes as the text speaks of paradise. This is, of course, significant and appropriate to Shaw's passing so near in time to this recording. If you are a Robert Shaw fan or a Dvorak fan, do get this CD."
D. Seymour | Atlanta, GA USA | 05/31/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The "rediscovery" of Dvorak's Stabat Mater is well-deserved if not necessary. This is a spiritual work of such power and magnitude that it should be performed as often as possible. It should be in the choral canon right along side the visceral thrills of Verdi's Requiem. Dvorak and his choir can make some noise, but what is truly amazing about this work is its ability to hit you where you live. The Stabat Mater was a very personal work for Dvorak, who wrote it while coping with the grief over the deaths of his two daughters. As such, it is an intense and most profound work. The swirling and swelling of the opening movement is grief personified, culminating in the most painful outburst of anguish you've ever heard. Dvorak fills the rest of the piece with smaller scale movements of heartbreaking beauty. Robert Shaw is a perfect choice to bring this vast work to life. Shaw's gift is and always has been the chorus. They rise and fall, heave and breathe at Shaw's command. You will be blown away by the power of their control. They can be explosive as in the opening 'Stabat Mater', ghostly transparent in the 'Eja, Mater' and even exquisitely radiant in the 'Tui Nati'. I would recommend the Sinopoli recording on DG for dramatic impact, but Telarc's sound and Shaw's chorus are never to be underestimated."
J. Rabideau | Stuck in the Loser State | 04/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Though I do not profess myself to be a conossieur of Dvorak's "Stabat Mater", versed in all major recordings of it, this is recording is simply lovely. The crystal voices, and Shaw's superior direction and obvious love for the material make it so. It is beautiful...and is, as has been mentioned numerous times before, a truly fitting final work for one of the last century's great conductors."