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Customer Review

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HIPster Wars - News from the Bach Front - Communiqué 27, April 1, 2012
This review is from: Bach Cantatas, Vol. 18 - For Christmas Day; For the Feast of Epiphany; For the First Sunday after Epiphany (Audio CD)
Not before time, the Paraclete has finally landed on that famous beatnik mop of hair. Yes indeed: Jeggy has surpassed himself here and by a wide margin. I laboriously prised Volume 18 from the library in the expectation it would be another instalment of `brisk efficiency' - how wrong I was. Fair dinkum this is easily among his best recordings ever.

Mind you, the card does not hurt Jeggy's cause. The first dance of the night is a bona fide masterpiece: Christen, ätzet diesen Tag" (the other cantatas are fine works but not quite on this level). BWV 63 could so easily be the seventh instalment of the Christmas Oratorio (and in passing, all the cantatas here are yuletide works). Even if the text were to be reduced to wordless melismas, one would instinctively look to Bethlehem for its inspiration. What a work and what a performance! Credit should also be given to the soloists who are invariably excellent. Claron McFadden sings like an angel in the recitativo `Alt O sel'ger Tag (her shadings are exquisite) and much the same could be said of Magdalena Kozená in the other cantatas (on her tone alone, one can semi-understand why Sir Simon Rattle decided to `broaden' the conjugal load).

There is no sense here that Jeggy is jauntily skating over a spiritual experience: it's thrilling, gutsy, reverential and majestic all at once; for instance, the earlier version of the Gloria from the Mass in B Minor (BWV 191) has more 'spiritual ooze' to its name than the DG recording from 1985. Odd, isn't it? I am at a loss to explain why Jeggy is so attuned to the marrow of these works whereas the connection is so fitful elsewhere. The English Baroque Soloists play for all their worth and (thankfully) then some more and the recording is well and truly in the demonstration class.

What a pity that every instalment of Jeggy's Bach Pilgrimage is not cut from the same cloth.

Gun stuff.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 1, 2012 4:28:47 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 1, 2012 5:14:22 AM PDT
Christen, atzen Diesen Tag has done well with JEG- I have a recording on DG from a while back that I always liked. I wonder if this is the same performance repackaged? JEG also made a DVD with this work for EMI-a rehearsal and performance. I still watch it once in awhile. I wonder how SPECTRE will take to this review?

Well apparently the CD under review is different from the one I know. I must try it. Nice review. Thanks Bernard.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 1, 2012 11:42:25 AM PDT
RTM - you're right; this is a different performance from the DG. If you do acquire it, please let me know what you think as I was damned surprised by my reaction to it. From SPECTRE with majesty! Best wishes, B.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 4, 2012 6:15:39 AM PDT
Well I did an A-B of the Arkiv and this No. 63. I prefer the new recording by a good margin. Choral work is similar in both-the Arkiv acoustic (a studio recording) gives the chorus more definition but in the Dei Gloria they sing with more guts and emphasis esp. in Hochster... I give the ladies in the Dei Gloria a big nod- Bernarda Fink in O Selger Tag is magnificient. I don't like the Archiv's alto "pinchy" tone. The boys' contribution seems a toss-up. One big difference though that favors the Dei Gloria is the instrumental playing in the recits. and solos/duets- it has more feeling in the newer recording and the sound is beefy- not puny as in the Arkiv. Net, net the new recording wins! Nice pick Bernard.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 4, 2012 3:28:54 PM PDT
Thank you RTM. After all, you are dealing with Mister 61% and hopefully my Amazon rating will breach the 10,000,000 mark! Best wishes, B.
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