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COMPOSERS: Bach/Vivaldi/Kuhnau
WORKS: Magnificat in E flat, BWV 243a; Nulla in mundo pax sincera, RV630; Nisi Dominus, RV608; Der Gerechte kommt um
PERFORMER: Emma Kirkby, Judith Nelson (soprano), Carolyn Watkinson (contralto), Paul Elliott (tenor), David Thomas (bass), James Bowman (countertenor)Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, Academy of Ancient Music/Simon Preston, Christopher Hogwood
CATALOGUE NO: 443 199-2 ADD (1976-79)
Simon Preston’s 1978 version of the Bach Magnificat includes the rarely heard Christmas interpolations, four short movements added to the standard Latin text for the first performance in 1723. Bach made many subtle textual changes when adapting the work into the shorter D major Magnificat; those who know only the later work will be surprised by the ghostly limp of the oboe d’amore obbligato in ‘Quia respexit’ and the octave transcriptions in ‘Deposuit’. The performance is a lively one, though choral balance is not ideal (the lower parts are too often indistinct). The solo singing is satisfactory: Kirkby and Bowman’s Vivaldi cantatas are rather better. Stephen Maddock