LABELS: Decca Double Decca
WORKS: Historia der Geburts Jesu Christi; Historia der Auferstehung Jesu Christi
PERFORMER: Ian Partridge, Peter Pears, Philip Langridge, Robert Tear (tenor), John Shirley-Quirk (baritone); Heinrich Schütz Choir/Roger Norrington
CATALOGUE NO: 452 188-2 ADD (1970-8)
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