As much as I love the work of Robert Shaw, I must confess, this recording remains something of a mystery to me. Shaw can squeaze blood from a turnip when it comes to making beautiful music with a choir. But, the use of modern instruments on this recording of two baroque masterpieces seems to dampen their impact. The percolating octaves from Vivaldi's Gloria in excelsis scream PERIOD but the modern strings gently glide over what should sound like pure jubilation. The battle between beauty and period authenticity on this recording is a decisive victory to Shaw. Vivaldi's Et in terra pax is so languid and lugubrious that you will be reminded of Poulenc. The slow tempos do, however, give Shaw's chorus the chance to shine magnificently. Bach's Gloria Patri has probably never sounded so lush. During Esurientes implevit bonis from the Magnificat, Marietta Simpson will knock your socks off with her stunning voice. The incongruity of this recording is the only reason I cannot give it five stars. When all is said and done, I really do prefer the mannerisms of period instruments. So, if you are an admirer of sheer choral beauty, this disc will not disappoint. However, it is a poor representative of what these two magnificent pieces should really feel like.