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3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Monteverdi/Bach
LABELS: Sony Essential Classics
WORKS: Vespers (1610)Cantatas, BWV 131 & 198
PERFORMER: Soloists; Choirs, Columbia SO & Baroque Ensemble/Robert Craft
CATALOGUE NO: SB2K 62656 ADD (1959-67)
This 1967 recording of Monteverdi’s Vespers does not attempt to recreate a liturgical setting and the pieces are performed in seemingly random order. The results, though often lively and attractive, never attain the grandeur of intensity of later, more historically informed versions by Gardiner, Parrott and Jacobs. The two Bach cantatas, recorded in 1959 and 1960, are the early BWV 131 and the formidable Trauer Ode, BWV 198. Performances are sensitive, though lacking in the idiomatic incisiveness of current ‘period’ practice. Graham Lock