Marenzio, Monteverdi, SchŸtz, Bach, Schubert, Vaughan Williams, Penderecki, PŠrt & Tavener

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COMPOSERS: Bach,Marenzio,Monteverdi,Pärt & Tavener,Penderecki,Schátz,Schubert,Vaughan Williams
LABELS: EMI Spiritus
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Magnificat Through the Ages
WORKS: Magnificat; Magnificat
PERFORMER: various soloists, choirs, orchestras & conductors
CATALOGUE NO: CMS 5 66339 2 ADD/DDD 1989-97
This collection puts together nine settings of the Magnificat – the canticle from St Luke’s text beginning ‘My soul doth magnify the Lord’ – from the late 16th to the late 20th centuries. It’s a neat way of recycling some fine recordings, though modern sensibilities will raise an eyebrow at this version of Bach’s Magnificat with the massed forces of the New Philharmonia Chorus and Orchestra under Daniel Barenboim. Compensation comes here in the solo singing: Popp, Pashley and Baker are heard in their prime. King’s College Choir doesn’t quite give the Marenzio the ‘oomph’ one expects today, and the 20th-century Magnificats – Penderecki, Pärt, Tavener and, particularly, Vaughan Williams – are rather lesser pieces than their forebears. But Parrott’s Monteverdi and Sawallisch’s Schubert are lovely. Stephen Pettitt