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Monteverdi: Vespro della Beata Vergine/Missa in illo tempore
Claudio Monteverdi, Masaaki Suzuki, Bach Collegium Japan Orchestra
Monteverdi: Vespro della Beata Vergine/Missa in illo tempore
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (17) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (28) - Disc #2


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A great recording
Sator | 02/02/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I admit it, I found the idea of a JAPANESE original instrument group hilarious when I first heard of it. But first came impressive recordings of Bach (Magnificat, cantatas), and now this, one of music's greatest treasures. This is one of my very favourite works, and up to now, I have been a wholehearted devotee of Gardiner's "live" version at San Marco, Venice, where it may first have seen the light of day. In my review of that recording, I said words to the effect of "somebody's going to have to work darned hard to better it". Well, Suzuki and his merry (wo)men have worked darned hard and in my opinion darn nearly bring it off. Indeed, some of Suzuki's interpretations of individual sections are, to my ears, to be preferred to Gardiner's. And the recorded sound is generally better - you are able to hear more of the instrumentation (Gardiner's seems to get lost sometimes in the immensity of San Marco). Gardiner's precision machine, the Monteverdi Choir, is the great glory of that recording and outshines the Japanese choir, but not by THAT much. So, overall, I still prefer Gardiner for the excitement of a unique event, but it's a case not of good and bad, but excellent and slightly more excellent - and there will be people who will reverse that order. One thing's for sure - I want both of these recordings on my shelf.The accompanying Misso is also beautifully done, and that, plus the alternative six-voice version of the Magnificat for the Vespers, makes this recording excellent value for money."
Suzukis Bach Collegium has done another good record again
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Suzukis Bach Collegium Japan has done a couple of extreme good records, highly valued by Penguin Guide, Fanfare Magazine and Grammophone Classic Magazine reviewers in works such as Handels Messiah, Bachs St. John Passion, Christmas Oratorium, St Matthew passion and also get highest reccomendations about many Bach Cantatas discs.About this Monteverdi Suzuki and his team has succeeded again.There is some good Vespers, Monteverdi out but few or any give me such pleasure listen to as this one. I agree that Gardiners Monteverdi choir is strong in his version and you have also Jacobs version on Harmonia Mundi, Savalls (not transposed down a fourth like SOME parts are done here on Magnificat -as suggested by Andrew Parrot- and most arrangements for this work are now and probably was by that times norm). Anyway is this singing, sound, playing most regarding, satisfaying and it has soething extra... it comes with great craftmanship and CLASS, honesty, joy.My copy come with a quite simple thin CD box makin it a bit hard to squeese in the overall very intresting, informative booklet of this work and also this booklet contains Suzukis wiev of it and also include lyrics/libretto but about this thin doublebox it is a minor.I think otherwise it is time for staff reviewers to give Susuki and his excellent Bach Collegium + record teams on BIS more attention and give them better reviews. Some of Susukis Bach Collegium discs is in my opinion so called essential (or a must have as a compliment) because tempi is always well judged and performance overall is first rate in many of those records mentioned above. Those and this record match many or is even better than its more famous "cousins/brother & sister versions".This disc IS essential Monteverdi Vespers because MUSIC is GREAT, stunning, choir and solosinging is extraordanary and conducting secure, sound is fine."