John Bolender | Ankara Turkey | 08/29/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm only commenting here on Canticum Sacrum, since it is the best performance I've heard. The other performances I know are Stravinsky's own and that of Simon Preston. The Preston and Stravinsky interpretations are both very guarded and cautious sounding, perhaps because they wanted the music to sound liturgical. But Jarvi takes a much more aggressive approach to the music, this is a Canticum with blood coursing through its veins. The choral canon representing the virtue of love is surprisingly fast, and some of the dynamic contrasts are surprisingly extreme. Little attempt is made to make the music sound liturgical, but since the music is so intrinsically liturgical anyway, there is no need for a cautious hush-hush performance. A Canticum with gusto is here shown to be a good approach."