Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Bartolomeo Barbarino, Giovanni Gabrieli, Paul McCreesh|
Gabrieli: Music for San Rocco [M-ch/Stereo SACD]
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Stunning surround sonics at San Rocco
Stephen J. Swellander | San Antonio, Texas USA | 07/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was one of my first SACD purchases, and I chose it because I knew that Gabrieli wrote for multiple choirs situated in different sections of the church, and figured that, if the engineers did their jobs right, this could be a stunning demonstration disc.
Gabrieli's music is a natural of mutichannel reproduction. In Timothy Roberts' opening organ toccata, the aural sense of space is uncanny. "In ecclesiis" envelops the listener with front and back chorus and soloists whose voices soar with a fullness that we can usually only experience in a real basilica. The only thing missing is the upper reverberation that you get in a real church. If your rear speakers are elevated like mine are (I had to work within the limitations of my room--doors and such!), you may get some of that sense.
If you are at all interested in the music of Gabrieli, this is the recording to get. To hear it with the separation and sonic detail of San Rocco, brings this very old music alive. The music was reportedly composed for the larger Saint Mark's Cathedral, but for recording purposes San Rocco was deemed preferable. The church itself is a beautiful instrument and is hard to capture faithfully in just two channels.
Maddy Evil | London, UK | 08/10/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I have been an avid follower of the Gabrieli Consort for some time, owning close to a dozen CDs by them alongside having seen them 3 or 4 times in concert. I purchased their recording of San Rocco with much anticipation....yet in spite of the consistent praise which this CD has received, I must confess that I was pretty disappointed with it. The dry acoustic perhaps contributes to this (a previous reviewer has made the same observation for the CD issue of this recording); but I believe that undoubtedly the biggest factor lies in the performances themselves, which at their worst are actually fairly ragged and unpolished by the Gabrieli Consort's usual standards. The brass playing in particular suffers from numerous lapses of intonation, as in the carefully orchestrated tutti of the Sonata à 22 (track 17) and the decidedly unstable opening of the Sonata à 14 (track 15) - they simply do not compare to the incredible performances of the same works given by the Taverner Players under Andrew Parrott (Gabrieli · Monteverdi · Vivaldi - Venetian Church Music / Taverner Consort, Choir & Players · Andrew Parrott, Virgin Veritas 561934-2). Admittedly, there are some very good moments (Timor et tremor, the Barbarino works and the Sonata con tre violini in particular), but given that, overall, Gabrieli's music is so accessible in other, considerably more polished performances - including on other recordings by the Gabrieli Consort (particularly on the Venetian Easter Mass / McCreesh, Gabrieli Consort & Players and A Venetian Coronation 1595 issues) as well as by groups like Currende (Venetian Music for Double Choir), the King's Consort (Lo Sposalizio: The Wedding of Venice to the Sea) and Concerto Palatino (Gabrieli: Sonate e Canzoni) - I personally would urge the interested listener to explore the current market first in advance of purchasing this one."