WORKS: Die sieben Worte Jesu Christi am Kreuz; Dialogues
PERFORMER: Collegium Sagittarii, London Bach Society Choir/Paul Steinitz, Monteverdi Choir/John Eliot Gardiner
CATALOGUE NO: C 57615 AAD (1975)
A fascinating comparison of three pioneer period choirs – and how rich, lush even, they sound today. Partridge and Pears are wonderfully expressive Evangelists in the two Historie – the description of Peter examining the empty tomb is riveting. So too are the tableaux: tripping shepherds, grandiose magi.
Gardiner, surprisingly casting solo Dialogues for chorus, evokes gripping drama at Jesus’s revelation at the sepulchre. Steinitz’s sixty-strong choir is soft-edged, his dramatic pace rather rigid. Remastered sound is a touch cloudy. George Pratt