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Stabat Mater/Nisi Dominus/Long

Antonio Vivaldi Audio CD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 12.95
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Product Details

1. Stabat Mater: Stabat Mater dolorossa
2. Stabat Mater: Cujus animam
3. Stabat Mater: O quam tristis
4. Stabat Mater: Quis est homo
5. Stabat Mater: Quis non posset
6. Stabat Mater: Pro peccatis
7. Stabat Mater: Eja Mater
8. Stabat Mater: Fac ut ardeat
9. Stabat Mater: Amen
10. Nisi Dominus: Nisi Dominus
11. Nisi Dominus: Vanum est vobis
12. Nisi Dominus: Surgite postquam sederitis
13. Nisi Dominus: Cum dederit dilectis
14. Nisi Dominus: Sicut sagittae
15. Nisi Dominus: Beatus vir
16. Nisi Dominus: Gloria Patri
17. Nisi Dominus: Sicut erat
18. Nisi Dominus: Amen
19. Longe mala, umbrae, terrores: Longe mala, umbrae, terrores
20. Longe mala, umbrae, terrores: Recedite, nubes et fulgura
See all 22 tracks on this disc

Product Description


Anyone familiar with Vivaldi only through his innumerable concertos (which are, unjustly, often accused of sounding alike) will be surprised by this recording. Vivaldi, in fact, composed a lot of vocal music, both sacred and secular, and wrote for voices no less skilfully than for instruments. The three works presented here, for alto, solo strings and organ, are utterly beautiful and completely different in character, mood and feeling.

The "Stabat Mater" is most substantial. Alternating recitatives and arias, often framed by instrumental ritornellos, it is heartbreakingly mournful, but ends peacefully before closing with a whole aria on "Amen". The other two works are real bravura pieces for the singer. They cover an enormous range and are full of florid coloratura passages and wide leaps. "Nisi Dominus" is very dramatic, with mysterious chromatic lines and big climaxes; "Longe mala" goes from defiant vehemence through fervent entreaty to serene resignation.

The performances are fabulous. David Daniels's voice has a pure, unearthly beauty and is perfectly even in quality across a huge range. Every note is meticulously placed and in tune, his breath control is incredible, his stylistic and emotional identification with the music complete. The musicians of Europa Galante support him splendidly, not as an accompanying group, but as true partners, playing with a lovely sound, imaginative ornamentation, and great expressiveness. The record's only flaw is that Daniels's breathing is clearly audible; he must have stood too close to the microphone. --Edith Eisler

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Audio CD
David Daniels is really a wonder! While the voice of counter tenors is by its nature rather androgynous, there is something both alluring and masculine in Daniels's tone. The so-called "counter-tenor hoot" is largely absent and his sizable voice is vibrant and evenly produced throughout a considerable
range. Daniels is also sensitive towards the words and any variation in musical dynamics and he is willing (and able) to vary the colour of his voice to suit the different musical and textual needs (quite difficult for a falsettist). This makes his interpretation of the 3 sacred works included in this CD both vivid and heart-felt. I would also mention that his breath control is excellent and his coloratura facility quite astounding. (The florid runs in some of the sections would probably tax even the most accomplished of mezzo-sopranos, and yet Daniels is able to toss them off fluently and with great elan.) What charismatic singing!
Fabio Biondi's playing of the violin and viola d'amore and the accompaniment of the Europa Biondi are delightful! Not only are they most musical and alert, they and Daniels work as close partners, each echoing the other's musical inflections. Their embellishments are both interesting and stylish. The music sounds freshly-minted under their combined hands (voices), and there is also a sense of grace and nobility in the performances, which is appropriate for this type of music. The good recording quality further enhances the effect of their fruitful collaboration.
This reviewer does not profess to know much about baroque performance practices, and therefore he cannot say whether the interpretations here are correct or not from an academic perspective. Nevertheless, this release has given me huge pleasure. Do check it out!
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Stabat Mater performance is wanting.... Aug. 14 2002
Format:Audio CD
While I have enjoyed David Daniels' previous works like the Handel operatic arias and his lieder album Serenade, I can't say the same for this Vivaldi release. Having owned Andreas Scholl's Harmonia Mundi recording of the Stabat Mater for several years (and dozens of listening, literally), Daniels' interpretation falls horribly flat to my ear. His voice is not as ethereal or light in the "female" register as you'd expect from a countertenor. His voice is indeed too heavy and unfocused, especially if you're familiar with Scholl's clarity and soaring high notes. The Nisi Dominus and Longe Mala are worthy performances, but I have to give this 3 stars not 4 or 5. If you're looking for the most "authentic" countertenor performance of the Stabat Mater, seek out Andreas Scholl's which features two other cantatas as well.
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1.0 out of 5 stars A grotesque parody of the female voice Feb. 19 2002
Format:Audio CD
In the past I owned a version of this that was stunningly beautiful, but accidently mixed it in with a batch of CDs to be sold..., so I assumed this full priced version would be wonderful. I found that the pacing dragged badly and that Daniels voice (which others rave about) was such a grotesque parody of the female voice that I couldn't stay in the room with it. If you like Vogueing you might like this. Listen carefully to make sure you really like this everpresent voice. I love contertenor singing, but I could not abide this. I would prefer something like Rutter did in his fabulous Requiem instead. I realize this might be a matter of individual taste, but to me this is one of the most unlistenable classical albums I have ever bought.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime (As Usual) Sept. 26 2002
Format:Audio CD
Having purchased the Scholl version when it was released I must admit to having been a little disappointed. Then came the Daniels' rendition and I realized that, when this particular singer sings, there is little one can do but sit back and let the wonderful, unearthly quality of his voice wash over you. Daniels is an exexceptional singer and this is a wonderful recording. He is admirably accompanied by Fabio Biondi.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Some of the Most Beautiful Singing Ever Recorded Jan. 10 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
David Daniels' singing on this disc ranges from the spectacular to the sublime, particularly in "Longe mala." This great singer continues to make extraordinary recordings-- more can't come too soon.
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