Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 


 
REVIEW
BARGAIN OF THE MONTH



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

alternatively
CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS


Jean GILLES (1668-1705)
Messe des Morts - Requiem [43.58]
Michel CORRETTE (1709-1795)
Carillon des Morts [4.46]
Anne-Marie Rodde (soprano); Jean Nirouet (counter-tenor); Martyn Hill (tenor); Ulrich Studer (baritone); Peter Kooy (bass)
Collegium Vocale Gent; Musica Antiqua Köln/Philippe Herreweghe
rec. Karmielter Kerk, Ghent, Belgium, January 1981. DDD
BRILLIANT CLASSICS 93890 [48.45]

Experience Classicsonline


 
For those of you who get a little hot under the collar about CD running times please bear in mind that this 1981 recording dates from the age of steam - or I should say of the LP of happy memory - when about 50 minutes was standard. The fact is that Brilliant Classics are a budget label and this is a classic performance, originally on Archiv, of the still quite rare but attractive and moving Messe des Morts which is most definitely worth getting to know.
 
There is something of a poignant story behind it. Gilles wrote the work probably in 1704 for the Cathedral of St. Etienne in Toulouse whose authorities, on its completion, would not pay the composer the full fee. Consequently Gilles pronounced “Then it will be performed by no-one”. Soon after, at the age of only 37, the composer died and the work received its first airing at his funeral. The much better known André Campra, a friend of Gilles, revived the work and, in the 1770s it proved popular receiving several performances including one under massive (Handelian?) forces at the funeral of Rameau, before fading into obscurity until the mid-20th century. This recording, although not the first, was the first to use period instruments and is, apart from its own intrinsic value of great interest as a result. There has since been a recording by Joel Cohen and the Boston Camerata on Erato but I have not heard it.
 
I suspect that one of the reasons for the work’s popularity amongst Parisians was the fact that, compared say with Campra’s own requiem or even that of Charpentier, it is quite a jolly piece. To be more precise it is not by any means always slow and gloomy. Tempi, like chorus passages and solo work are varied and the ideas are often arresting.
 
The work falls into seven sections and as a sort of ‘envoi’ Herreweghe inserted a purely instrumental and curiously jolly ‘Carillon des Morts’ an ostinato piece based on funereal bell-ringing by that slightly shadowy but eccentric figure Michel Corrette.
 
The first section is the longest, the ‘Introitus’. This has a solemn instrumental opening and the first words ‘Requiem Aeternam’ are intoned by the solo tenor and followed by a happy ‘Lux Perpetua’ for the bass and soprano before the chorus repeat and develop this music. The graceful Kyrie is begun by the tenor before the other soloists including the counter-tenor takes up the ‘Christe eleison’. The final Kyrie is choral. The Graduale begins instrumentally and seriously ‘Grant eternal rest O Lord’ and this movement hails the arrival of the recorders. The chorus burst in at a brighter tempo at the words ‘in memoriam eternam’, dividing the text with the baritone solo. The following ‘Offertorium’ (... deliver the souls of the faithful departed ...) begins instrumentally, again in a minor key, and the bass soloist sings the ‘Libera me’. This is the longest text and the chorus have more to do but the mood is not always minor key and there is harmonic variety. The tenor also reappears as do the recorders and they have a moving duet section. A triple time meter is used for the middle section “But let St. Michael, thy standard bearer”.
 
The ‘Sanctus’ although rather steady in the tempo of an Allemande, and in a major key, is initiated by the baritone solo before dueting with the bass. Later the chorus arrive with a bright ‘Hosanna’ again in triple time. The Benedictus is set for counter-tenor and tenor duet. For the ‘Agnus dei’ Gilles writes in an elegant major tonality and the baritone leads off before the chorus joins him and ends the movement. The ‘Post communion’ repeats the ‘Lux Aterna’ words and begins with the baritone solo. The choir seem to want to end the work with a melancholic ‘dona eis, Domine’ which should bring proceedings to a beautiful and mournful conclusion, but Gilles launches into the lively triple time repeat of the ‘Et lux perpetua’ before ending on dignified slow chords. I mention all of this to show how well balanced the work is and also to help to understand why it was so popular for a brief time.
 
Of the Carmelite Church in Ghent I can tell you little. I thought that I had been to all of the ancient churches in that most beautiful of cities, Philippe Herreweghe’s home town, but this church has eluded me and the internet proved of little use. The acoustic, at any rate is magical and helpful.
 
At bargain price this is a fine catch. I would recommend it to you even if baroque music is not always your bag.
 

Gary Higginson
 

 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.