Vivalid: Gloria;Ostro picta / Bach: Magnificat
If you like your Vivaldi a little less frenetic than
Which is to say that this recording did have some great moments. There were a few songs which reminded me that the money I paid had been worth it. 1. Aria: Ostro Picta, Armata Spina - sung by the soprano Emma Kirkby was exceptional. as was her duet with Tessa Bonner in Gloria RV 589: 3. Duetto: Laudamus Te, which was done at a wonderfully brisk and bright pace and much emotion without too much virbrata.
I had originally wanted the cd because it was a relatively early recording for Michael Chance (former choral scholar countertenor at King's College) and John Mark Ainsley. Both were close to flawless and Bach's et misericordia (duet) was where they shined in this cd.
The Vivaldi choruses were unexciting for me (someone who has heard many recordings of them) as they were not of spectacular quality (although not bad by any means). They seemed to excite my fiancee, though, as this cd was the first she'd ever heard the glorias. Check out Philip Ledger's King's College recording of RV 589 if you desire to hear clear intonations and bright sound from the choruses. This cd, though, is one I listen to often because of the wonderful soloists and musicians and my four star rating means I would recommend it.
Emma Kirkby as the soprano soloist does indeed deserve to be singled out as exceptional. Her solos soar over the top of a finely tuned and well-prepared ensemble. The chorus and other vocal solosists are also wonderful. Hickox takes a few dares with the tempos, all to marvelous effect, leading the listener to believe that these may very well be the tempos that Vivaldi and Bach had in mind. Even if they didn't, on this CD you will hear exactly why this music is so beautiful.