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Giacomo Carissimi: Jonas & Jephte

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Audio CD, August 30, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Two of Carissimi's most famous oratorios, performed by early music ensemble New Trinity Baroque in collaboration with the Choir of Oxford College (The Oxford Chorale) led by Predrag Gosta.

Review

These are enthusiastic performances which capture the spirit of the two oratorios very well... Individual singing is a bit variable but the best is very good, particularly Julia Matthews' beautiful Filia and Patrick Newell's exciting but controlled 'Fugite'... [This recording] does have much to offer, particularly in the tightly-controlled drama of its Jephte. --Early Music Review, December 2007

Giacomo Carissimi (1605-1674) is best known for these two additions to the early oratorio genre, and so it is no surprise to find them recorded together on this release. What is a surprise, and a pleasant one at that, is to see that this version of Jonas contains previously unrecorded material - the arias 'Sed frustra gementes' and 'Clamor hinc et inde luctus' and the duet 'Et Dii non erant.' There portions of the work are in a manuscript now located in the Czech Republic, and it is indeed fortunate that a recording of the more complete work now exists.

...New Trinity Baroque, performing beautifully as always on period instruments, accompanies the vocal parts simply and tastefully. Despite its length of only 30 seconds, the opening sinfonia, in its dramatic restraint and sense of ensemble, sets the tone for the rest of the recording.

...the instrumental portion of the recording is consistently delightful... The Oxford Chorale... does an admirable job in the choral sections, most notably in 'Fugite, cedite impiii' and the closing 'Plorate filii Israel&' in Jephte... On the whole, the duet and trio sections provide some of the loveliest moments in either work, as it the aforementioned 'Et Dii non errant,' which features Julia Matthews and Elizabeth Packard Arnold. It must be said, though, that Julia Matthews's rendition of the nameless daughter in Jephte is particularly beautiful - definitely a highlight of the recording.

Of the two oratorios, Jephte is stronger, both in its dramatic presentation and in its musical precision. However, this is certainly a recording that would provide a great introduction to either work and would be a welcome addition to any Carissimi-lover's collection. Well done. --Early Music America, Spring 2009


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
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Product Details

  • Performer: Kevin Sutton, Steven Soph, Elizabeth Packard Arnold, Magdalena Wor, Patrick Newell, et al.
  • Orchestra: New Trinity Baroque, Oxford Chorale
  • Conductor: Predrag Gosta
  • Composer: Giacomo Carissimi
  • Audio CD (August 30, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Edition Lilac
  • ASIN: B000N3TXHU
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,573,259 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael Pohlenz on June 16, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Having studied and conducted both of these beautiful Carissimi oratorios, this performance is marred by faulty intonation among the soloists and chorus, and very minimal, generally uninspired ornamentation of the vocal lines. Indeed, the usually gorgeous closing chorus of "Jepthe" is labored and heavy, and several tempi in both works fail to reflect the drama of the text. While the orchestra performed better than the soloists and chorus, in this day when many questions of performance practice have been standardized in period instrument performances and recordings, I expected much better of any choral group bearing the "Oxford" name. This CD does give the listener a good idea of what these oratorios sound like, but these are not stellar performances.
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