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Discussion: Bach: St. John Passion - Netherlands Bach Society

Posts: 5

Post by zeus November 27, 2004 (1 of 5)
Another sumptuous package from Channel Classics.

Post by jdaniel@jps.net November 27, 2004 (2 of 5)
zeus said:

Another sumptuous package from Channel Classics.

Re: the *1st* sumptuous package from Channel, the Christmas Oratorio, I've held this in my hand a couple of times in Tower. Those who own it: has it worn well over repeated hearings? I like very non-strident Sopranos. Seen mixed reviews with regard to the lead soprano. Whom should I believe?

Post by zeus November 27, 2004 (3 of 5)
jdaniel@jps.net said:

Re: the *1st* sumptuous package from Channel, the Christmas Oratorio, I've held this in my hand a couple of times in Tower. Those who own it: has it worn well over repeated hearings? I like very non-strident Sopranos. Seen mixed reviews with regard to the lead soprano. Whom should I believe?

I find Channel Classics' Christmas Oratorio a very enjoyable performance, and prefer it to my Gardiner (and Harnoncourt before that). I'm told the Jacobs is very good as well, but haven't heard it. Try the Veldhoven, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. My St. John is on order.

Post by LC November 28, 2004 (4 of 5)
jdaniel@jps.net said:

Re: the *1st* sumptuous package from Channel, the Christmas Oratorio, I've held this in my hand a couple of times in Tower. Those who own it: has it worn well over repeated hearings? I like very non-strident Sopranos. Seen mixed reviews with regard to the lead soprano. Whom should I believe?

Zomer is a wonderful, diverse (and non-strident) soprano, and for SA-CD recordings of her I recommend Death & Devotion and Love & Lament highly. I also recommend, to a somewhat lesser degree, Splendore di Roma and the Christmas Oratorio, although I confess I have not listened to this last repeatedly. Honestly, though I count myself a fan of Channel Classics, if you want the best Bach vocal works on SA-CD, I would say that Harmonia Mundi is still ahead, with Herreweghe's excellent Leipziger Weihnachtskantaten and Cantus Cölln's superb Mass in B Minor (their Actus Tragicus cantatas program isn't far behind). Haven't heard these in multichannel, but my impressions were that the stereo sound of the HM recordings is in no way inferior to Channel Christmas Oratorio. Of course, Channel is still ahead in the lavish packaging department.

Post by brenda November 30, 2004 (5 of 5)
jdaniel@jps.net said:

Re: the *1st* sumptuous package from Channel, the Christmas Oratorio, I've held this in my hand a couple of times in Tower. Those who own it: has it worn well over repeated hearings? I like very non-strident Sopranos. Seen mixed reviews with regard to the lead soprano. Whom should I believe?

dear jd, don't known what the criticism of Zomer was, but although she is clear she's not at all strident. I really enjoy the set, which is almost as good as the Gardiner and Suzuki. Recording slightly closer than the BIS for Suzuki, which makes it a little more earthbound but really, these are all matters of degree. I doubt you'd be disappointed if you got it.

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