Search - Johann Sebastian Bach, Andrew Parrott, Taverner Consort and Players :: Bach: Magnificat, BWV 243; Easter Oratorio, BWV 249; Lobet Gott, BWV 11; Christ lag, BWV 4; Nun is das Heil, BWV 50

Bach: Magnificat, BWV 243; Easter Oratorio, BWV 249; Lobet Gott, BWV 11; Christ lag, BWV 4; Nun is das Heil, BWV 50
Johann Sebastian Bach, Andrew Parrott, Taverner Consort and Players
Bach: Magnificat, BWV 243; Easter Oratorio, BWV 249; Lobet Gott, BWV 11; Christ lag, BWV 4; Nun is das Heil, BWV 50
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (22) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (19) - Disc #2

Andrew Parrott was the first conductor to adopt Joshua Rifkin's controversial one-singer-per-part approach to Bach's "choral" music (other than Rifkin himself, that is). This very reasonably priced reissue sees Parrott app...  more »

     
?

Larger Image
Listen to Samples

CD Details


Synopsis

Amazon.com
Andrew Parrott was the first conductor to adopt Joshua Rifkin's controversial one-singer-per-part approach to Bach's "choral" music (other than Rifkin himself, that is). This very reasonably priced reissue sees Parrott applying the approach to four of Bach's most popular sacred works. On the whole, Parrott and his ensemble make a good case for both one-per-part practice and their own performances. Once the ear adjusts, the balance is excellent: the vocal parts don't dominate the orchestra (as many listeners accustomed to a chorus expect); they are equal partners with it--which suits Bach's intricate and often dense writing for instruments and voices. In the Magnificat, however, good balance without good judgment isn't enough. Parrott rips through the piece so quickly that the singers have no time to do anything interesting with their parts. The Ascension Oratorio comes off better, with tempos that are brisk but not dizzying, as well as fine solos by Cable and Kirkby. The Taverner Consort and Players really shine, however, in the Easter works. The opening Sinfonia of Christ lag in Todesbanden (taken surprisingly slowly) is breathtaking, as is the soprano-alto duet; the Sinfonia and opening chorus of the Easter Oratorio fairly rollick along, while Emily van Evera (sensitive and beguiling) and Caroline Trevor (athletic and almost giddy) do themselves proud in their arias, and tenor Charles Daniels, cushioned by flutes and strings, paints a magical picture of heavenly rest. If you just can't stomach the idea of Bach done by a madrigal consort (as some would have it), you'll do well with Ton Koopman or Philippe Herreweghe. But at such a reasonable price, these commendable performances are more than worth a try. --Matthew Westphal
 

CD Reviews

One-Voice-Per-Part At It's Best
R. Gerard | Pennsylvania USA | 07/30/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've never been a fan of Bach's works being performed One-Voice-Per-Part, until I listened to this recording.There is much to be praised about this recording. While I'd much prefer to hear the soprano and alto lines sung by trebles and boy altos or countertenors, the female singers here are superb. Emma Kirkby shines as usual. The Taverner Consort is very clean as well.The Magnificat is very good here. This is no quick-paced interpretation with an obviously minimalistic sound (like McCreesh's). It even has the fervor of a larger ensemble, surprisingly. I never thought an athletic movement such as the "Fecit Potentiam" could be pulled off using One Voice Per Part, but Andrew Parrot does it very well.BWV 4 is indeed taken surprisingly slowly, and I prefer the Konrad Junganel rendition on Harmonia Mundi much better. This Andrew Parrot rendition is well-done nonetheless, as I am a big fan of his alto-soprano duo. BWV 50 is also a rare surprise (It is, without a doubt, my favorite number on these discs). As a worthy finale to this two-disk set is "Preis Und Dank" from the Easter Oratorio. Highly reccomended."
One of the finest Bach recordings in the catalog
hcf | 10/09/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"At the moment, this is my favorite Bach recording. I am a big fan of the one-voice-per-part approach ("OVPP"), and I truly feel that, where its use is appropriate, a small consort of voices offers better results than a traditional chorus (current evidence suggests that OVPP was likely used at least in Bach's early cantatas and in Passions). If you listen to this recording with an open mind, you might be able to recognize the merits of this approach: clarity of lines, better balance between the vocalists and the instrumentalists, and a potential for a finer insight into the meaning of the text. Some tempo issues aside, this recording is nearly as good as they come (besides, tempi are, to some extent, a matter of personal preference). Andrew Parrott's direction is generally well judged, and the cast he assembled is superb. I particularly enjoyed the contributions of Charles Daniels (one of my favorite tenors) and Caroline Trevor. I have to admit to a bit of a bias in favor of male altos, but Caroline Trevor is so superb that few countertenors can compare. Her Saget, saget, mir geschwinde, for instance, is definitely the best I've heard. --gggimpy@yahoo.com"
Simply wonderful
Arnout Koeneman | the netherlands | 06/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"All my reservations I had against Parrott in Bach are completely gone with these discs.

I did like his Mass in B, but I found it at the same time a bit too fast paced and lightweight in the sound of both orchestra and singers and the recording itself sounds a bit thin too.
Then I got Parrott's St. John which I like very, very much and which is my favorite St. John along with Gardiner's and Herreweghe's 1st recording (haven't heard his 2nd yet).
The recording has much more substance and the orchestra has more weight.

Now, these performances of Magnificat, Ascension Oratorio and Easter Oratorio are truly wonderful.
The Magnificat is rather on the fast side, I prefer Herreweghe, but the equal attention Parrott gives to his orchestra and singers, just like Herreweghe, I like very much.
The sound is solid, warm and natural.
Parrott is more expressive than Herreweghe, thanks to his one voice per part reading I suppose, it sounds more enthusiastic and spontane.

The Easter Oratorio is more sensible paced and is very similar to Herreweghe's pacing, although "Sanfte soll mein Todeskummer" is taken too fast by Parrott, Herreweghe I like better and his orchestral accompaniment too, which is unearthy sounding in its polish and repeating figures.
Solists are great and I prefer Emily van Evera for Parrott over Herreweghe's Barbara Schlick.

I don't miss a bigger force (choir) at all, the Easter Oratorio as a whole I like better the way Parrott (and his 'one voice per part' method) performs it than Herreweghe - with the exception of "Sanfte soll..."

Simply wonderful."