<< -- 3 -- Robert Anderson SHOWING PACES
Already by the time of the Magnificat, which may date from the early
1670s, Charpentier had begun ousting Lully for music to Moliere's plays.
The Magnificat is set to a strong dance rhythm that persists throughout.
It is essentially a slow waltz, performed here with downbeat emphasis that
eventually becomes monotonous. Perhaps such accents are appropriate when
putting down the mighty from their seat [listen -
track 3, 5:23-6:50].
Elsewhere the Virgin's hymn needs more subtlety. That said, the
oratorio performances can only give pleasure. Les arts florissants deploys
some ten singers, equally happy as soloists or among the faithful. So Almachus
is redeemed to become a choral bass and join Cecilia in celebrating her
own triumph. The dozen instrumentalists are busy with recorder, flute, viols,
theorbo, harpsichord and organ. Combinations differ for the oratorios and
Magnificat. Sometimes William Christie is at a keyboard; otherwise his hands
are free. Either way he has brought out the dramatic strengths of the oratorios
and maximised the message of the Magnificat.
Copyright © 3 September 2000
Robert Anderson, London, UK
CD INFORMATION - HARMONIA MUNDI HMA 190066
PURCHASE THIS DISC FROM AMAZON
PURCHASE THIS DISC FROM CROTCHET
& Vision home
American voices >>
||To listen to the aural illustrations in this review,|
you may need to download RealNetworks' realplayer G2.