Antonio Vivaldi, Johann Sebastian Bach - Magnificat & Concerti

Published Sunday 1st February 2015
Antonio Vivaldi, Johann Sebastian Bach - Magnificat & Concerti
Antonio Vivaldi, Johann Sebastian Bach - Magnificat & Concerti

STYLE: Choral
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
LABEL: Alia Vox AVSA9909D

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

When Mary sang for joy at the news she was to be the mother of the Messiah I wonder if she thought that her words, recorded in Luke's Gospel, would be set to music by so many composers over so many years. Here we have two of the greatest 18th century musical renderings of the 'Magnificat': the second version of Johann Sebastian Bach's 'Magnificat in D major' for five soloists, choir and orchestra, reworked in 1732 and 1733 (BWV243) and the first version of Antonio Vivaldi's 'Magnificat in G minor' (which would have been known by Bach) for two soprano and one alto soloists, choir and orchestra (RV 610). Here we get to both see and hear the performance as we get a hybrid SACD together with a bonus DVD at mid-price. Le Concert des Nations and choir of La Capella Reial de Catalunya under Jordi Savall offer a vivid and striking performance of these two masterpieces, recorded live at the Chapel Royal in Versailles in 2013. Each of them is introduced by a concerto by the same composer in the same key. The superlative performance of harpsichordist Pierre Hantaï in the Concerto BWV1052 is particularly impressive. The CD booklet runs to over 200 pages (although the same thing is said in six different languages!) and is both interesting and informative.

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