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  Harmonia Mundi -
  HMC 801571
  Vivaldi: Stabat Mater - Scholl/Chiara
  Vivaldi: Stabat Mater

Andreas Scholl (countertenor)
Ensemble 415
Banchinin Chiara
Track listing:
  Classical - Vocal
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 2

Reviews: 2

Review by andrewb February 27, 2006 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This was the disc that brought Andreas Scholl to the attention of the classical music fraternity rather than just a few baroque music lovers. He had recorded some excellent performances on disc before, but this was the one that got him noticed and won many deserved awards.

It is a marvellous performance of some excellent music in a programme that is well balanced between vocal and purely instrumental works; with this variety one can easily listen from start to finish and not become tired of the same musical texture or style.

The group Ensemble 415 and their director Chiara Banchini are excellent and play with style and emotion, never forcing the music too much, unlike some other baroque groups of today. Scholl’s voice is of course stunning, its power, clarity and range is amazing and coupled here with emotional intensity it is a magical performance.

Unfortunately the recording quality, although very good in 1995 can no longer be considered so. The stereo balance very much favours the left speaker, so much so that I have to apply some adjustment, which is exceptional for me. The sound of the instruments and voice is caught well but does not have the quite the warmth and clarity expected of a modern SACD recording but do not let that put you off buying this disc – this music and performance is just too good.

There is an oddity about the SACD in that the packaging claims it to be stereo only but my Sony SACD player finds a 5.0 multi-channel layer and plays it. By playing, I mean that music is output from the rear speakers as well as the two front speakers (I have no centre channel speaker but assume the music would be output from there also). However, the multi-channel sound is not good and, on my player, it also has some distortion at 1’ 00’’ to 1’ 25’’ of track 14 and again at 2’ 24’’ to 2’ 25’’ of track 19. So the stereo is to be preferred whether there is or is not a multi-channel layer.

As well as notes on the music the original CD booklet had some short notes about the performers, these latter have been removed in the SACD version, perhaps they were too out of date and Harmonia Mundi did not want the expense of updating them, especially as Scholl moved to Decca soon after this disc. In my view, he has still not bettered this performance.

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Review by Croc December 31, 2003 (0 of 2 found this review helpful)
i'm not very expirienced with classical music so i can't rate the performance but soundwise it's one of the best SACD's that i have.
In my opinion it sounds much better that Pentatone disks.

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Works: 5  

Antonio Vivaldi - Cantata "Cessate omnai cessate", RV 684
Antonio Vivaldi - Concerto in C major for Strings, RV 114
Antonio Vivaldi - Filiae mestae (introduction to a Miserere), RV 638
Antonio Vivaldi - Sonata in E flat major for Strings, RV 130 "al Santo Sepolcro"
Antonio Vivaldi - Stabat Mater, RV 621