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R. Gerard (Pennsylvania USA)

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Symphony 10
Symphony 10

5.0 out of 5 stars Deserves To Be Heard, June 23 2004
This review is from: Symphony 10 (Audio CD)
Indeed, I do believe this is a worthy completion of Beethoven's projected tenth symphony. As a musician myself, who has become familiarized with Beethoven's music thoroughly, I would say without hesitation that this is a believable "reconstruction," faithful not only to the master's sound, but also -if it were to be a truly musicological effort- to his form, and context of the sound of other works of this late stage of Beethoven's life.
The opening "cantabile" in E-flat (itself faithfully based on an extensive sketch left after the master's death) is particularly "Beethovenian" as are the grand string octaves that resound before it. The whole thing, really, is a great effort, and while doubtless Beethoven himself would've been more imaginative in execution in many parts, this effort is an excellent one.
Beethoven's sketches of the Tenth Symphony are incomplete but numerous- more than often revealing very beautiful melodies, and inviting to any competent musicologist to attempt a reconstruction composition.
We know that the Tenth Symphony was to exist because Beethoven frequently mentioned it, along with the Ninth, as planned and in the works- he even began work on it before the glorious Ninth was complete (initially the Ninth was to be purely instrumental -the original fourth movement of the Ninth scrapped and instead used as a movement in String Quartet Op. 132- and the Tenth to include a chorus, while Schiller's "Ode to Joy" was initially concieved as a separate cantata... not to be included as part of a mainly instrumental work). This overlap of work was also the case with the fifth and sixth symphonies. It is not impossible or rediculous therefore, as other reviewers might believe, that a greater symphony was to follow the Ninth. This recording, as well as Beethoven's and his colleagues' own testimonies, are evidence to the contrary. It is interesting to note that a friend of Beethoven even heard the master play the piano reduction of the Tenth Symphony IN ITS ENTIRETY, explaning the developments as they came along.
Is it really rediculous to think that anything greater were to follow his Ninth? His Missa Solemnis? His Fidelio? Not at all. Keep in mind that just as numerous sketches for the Tenth exist- so do accounts of Beethoven's attempts at other operas, and even a Requiem. Beethoven was constant in the development of his art, and it is more rediculous to think of the Ninth of his "ars summa" as the other reviewers might hold.
It is an infinitely valuable learning tool, above all, teaching us much about Beethoven's manner of composition and how he develeoped his almost countless existing fragments -mere scraps of music- into monuments of sound. This isn't Beethoven speaking to us from the grave- but it is a convincing effort worthy of more listens.
Recommended.

German Requiem
German Requiem
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 44.95
4 used & new from CDN$ 14.78

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Herreweghe a Master of Styles, June 23 2004
This review is from: German Requiem (Audio CD)
This is a prime example of Herreweghe's broad understanding of musical styles- the ability to convincingly conduct works from all eras from Lassus to Faure, Monteverdi to Beethoven, and oftentimes set a standard by which other recordings will be judged.
Just like his readings of Bach's St. Matthew Passion and Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, his German Requiem by Brahms is one of his winning sets.
First of all, Harmonia Mundi's sound quality is unsurprisingly flawless (and the SACD version is just thrilling.)
A huge part of this disc's success is the way the orchestra and choruses, Champs Elysees, Chapelle Royale, and Collegium Vocale (all formed by Herreweghe himself) achieve balance. In Gardiner's (very good) recording I often found the brass section overbearing, for example. I never found such problems here.
A historically-correct recording, the soloists do just fine... sounding neither to bland nor theatrical.
As for the interpretation itself- I've never heard a more uniform sound to a choir then Herreweghe's. You would be hard pressed to find a "Selig Sind die da Leid Tragen" with such an angelic purity of singing, or a "Denn alles Fleisch es ist wie Gras" with such ominous intensity.
Like the other reviewer has said, Herreweghe's "Ein Deutsches Requiem" ranks at or near the top of my list. Reccomended- and get the SACD version, if you have a compatible player for it. You will not regret this purchase.

Mozart: Requiem - Revised and completed by Robert D. Levin
Mozart: Requiem - Revised and completed by Robert D. Levin
Offered by thebookcommunity_ca
Price: CDN$ 133.31
5 used & new from CDN$ 18.50

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Mozart Recording and Great Patriotic Tribute, June 12 2004
Of the three recordings I know of the Levin completion of Mozart's Requiem (the others being MacKerras and Pearlman) this particular one has to be the most convincing to me.
It is understated but still appropriately weighty. A live recording commemorating the World Trade Center/Pentagon disaster of September 11th, 2001, Labadie's rendition really does pack an emotional punch than most recordings currently on market.
Unlike the Pearlman recording, this present one is done on modern instruments although the dynamic featured Violons du Roy play in period style-- crisp, pure, without vibrato. It really makes this one unique. For example, listen to the fugue, "Quam olim Abrahe" as the violins place that stacatto on the first and third beats of their baroque-inspired ostinatos. It is not often that a recording of Mozart's Death Mass sound as new and fresh as this.
The soloists are likewise excellent.
The Levin completion is second my favorite (my absolute favorite being the Duncan Druce reworking). Druce's changes might be over-the-top for many listeners, but to most, Levin's is the closest to perfection as one can get. While I like Druce's completion of the Benedictus far more (it sounds like real Mozart!), Levin's is just fine. His "Amen" fugue is also the most satisfying.
I would reccommend both this recording and the one under the baton of MacKerras. The Pearlman might sound to light and airy for many (the ending to the Kyrie is far to fast.) I would also urge you to listen to the only recording of the Druce version under Roger Norrington on the Virgin Verital label, although the tempi could use slowing in some parts, it is still a very engaging listen.

B Minor Mass
B Minor Mass
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 44.95
6 used & new from CDN$ 29.94

5.0 out of 5 stars OVPP, A Winning Practice, Feb. 11 2004
This review is from: B Minor Mass (Audio CD)
This is the fourth recording of the Mass in B minor to utilize the one-voice-per-part (OVPP) theory, and again, it pays of beautifully. While Rifkin, Parrot, and Kuijken have all recorded the Mass in such a configuration, Junghanel's rendition seems to be the winner here.
I noted that however fast the Sanctus, Dona nobis, and Gratias agimus tibi are executed, it is not a detriment to the sound. I believe what makes recording this large scale work with small scale forces is that the balance between each line is sounded perfectly.
The recording reminds me of Herreweghe's... reverberant, ecclesiastical sound, suitable to the music. Each soloist functions perfectly as both a soloist and a chorister. I belive that the singers and players of Cantus Colln have the uniformity of voice unmatched by any other ensemble that has attempted to play Bach's concerted church music in such a configuration.
The Mass in B-Minor under Rifkin's baton was the first to be recorded using OVPP. Nearly a 20 year old theory, Junghanel's set seems to be a revelation. It is nearly flawless. While I would appreciate the more "standard" tempos of some numbers, it is no less a relevatory pleasure to listen to.

Christmas Cantatas, Magnificat BWV 243a
Christmas Cantatas, Magnificat BWV 243a
Offered by CAMusicFiendz
Price: CDN$ 229.02
4 used & new from CDN$ 183.22

5.0 out of 5 stars Relevatory, Jan. 21 2004
I purchased this disc not expecting much. I have already acquired Cantata, "Christen Atzet diesen Tag" by Ton Koopmand and Herreweghe has already recorded the Magnificat, which many revere as their favorite rendition of Bach's BWV 243.
Herreweghe sure has changed during the years; those who have called his recordings lacking in drama and excitement -if not already affected by his 1999 St. Matthew Passion- will find this latest release a revelation.
Four cantatas and the Bach's first version of the famous Magnificat are included here. Ingeborg Danz, a favorite of mine, is becoming a regular it seems on Herreweghe's recordings for Harmonia Mundi. Mark Padmore offers brilliant renditions as well. Dorthee Blotzky-Mields, the soprano on the first disc, may be a new, unfamiliar name to many, but should have a promising career ahead of her. The young lady has the boyishness and clarity which goes perfectly with the music.
The Magnificat BWV 243a is must be heard to be believed. It is a totally different "animal" than the one Herreweghe has already recorded. Bach's first go at the Magnificat included Laudes, or motets (about 3 or 4 in both German and Latin) inserted into the Magnificat itself, making it suitable for a Christmas service. Compared to the only other recording of BWV 243a I own (under the baton of Helmuth Rilling) this one is a definite winner, and surpasses even Herreweghe's own recording. He sure has raised the bar he himself has already raised to high.
Herreweghe sure has worked on his "Dramatics" this past decade, and it definitely shows.
"Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ" with horns and timpani, "Christen Aetzet diesen Tag" and the first "Magnificat," with kettledrums and multiple trumpets-- These are Bach's works with BIG sounds. I'm glad this issue is now offered in SACD. It will do this moving recording justice.

Carrie (2002)
Carrie (2002)
DVD ~ Angela Bettis
Offered by Warehouse105
Price: CDN$ 29.98
8 used & new from CDN$ 29.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the original, Aug. 8 2003
This review is from: Carrie (2002) (DVD)
Of course, as a remake, the film is going to incite scrutiny. I still feel that the remake of Carrie is better.
Carrie was Stephen King's first novel which I loved. I was so dissapointed at the DaPalma movie because it was so unfaithful to Stephen King and his classic book. Many original (and important) plot events were scrapped. The name of the school was even changed from Ewen to Bates. The scenes in which Carrie kills her mother and where she uses her telekinesis to kill off Billy Nolan are switched around. Most of all, concerning plot, I don't know where in hell the writers for the DaPalma film got the idea for their last scene (she takes a bath, then the crucifixion of her mother with kitchen knives, and the house burnins down.) Stephen King's original conception in the book is much better (no bathtub, just Margaret stabs Carrie who, in turn, stops her heart, and Carrie crawls around half-dead in the destroyed town when, at last, she is confronted by Billy and Chris Hargensen, and our heroin uses her telekinesis to flip their car over. Then Carrie is found by Sue and Carrie dies in Sue's arms.) And there is no tacky finale in which the house sinks into the ground. Neither the original or remake use this ending, and in the remake, Carrie is even shown to survive the ordeal and move to Florida. I hope at least alternative endings will be available on the DVD.
In Da Palma's film, I also felt some of the characters which were "transcribed" from the book were shallow -John Travolta's Billy Nolan, for one. In the remake, however, Billy is that intimidating, mischevious, yet demonic teen that your kids go to school with. John Travolta's Billy just seemed... well... dumb. Whoever actor is that plays Billy in the remake, does it better.
In the original, the important character, Mrs. Desjardin is omitted and changed to Mrs. Collins, another rather shallower person than portrayed in King's book. There was no angry fire in the scene where she reprimands the girls for their treatment of Carrie (and even goes as far as throwing Chris Hargensen against a locker- one of my favorite parts of King's book). But at least in the remake, Stephen King's character is back. And, in my opinion, one of the more interesting characters too.
I like Angela Bettis's acting much better than Sissy Spacek's. The reason why is that Sissy Spacek's characterization was so mousy that it seemed fake. Ms. Bettis's portrayal is more real, and I can even identify an "Angela Bettis Carrie" when I wait to pick up my kids from school. Spacek, who is a great actress nontheless, does not convince me.
Sue is also more interesting in the remake. Here, she really appears remorseful for Carrie. Amy Irving in the original did just fine. The actress in the remake, however, is the better candidate.
My favorite character is Margaret White. Piper Laurie is fantastic, but she can get too... "Broadway" at times. You really see the abuse and fanaticism in the later actress.
Among my favorite scenes that do not appear in the original, but in the remake and in the book are: the parent/teacher conference with Chris Hargansen's father, the destruction of the town, Mrs. Desjardin's angry locker room scene, the scene where Carrie literally "throws" her mom out of her bedroom using telekinis, Carrie's first real self-training of her powers with a hairbrush, and Jackie Talbot as messenger to Chris and Billy's motel room after the disaster, and others.
Aside from my praises, a few small rants against the remake: the aerial views of the burning town in the remake look very fake, and hopefully they will fix this problem by the time the DVD is released. Also, the ending is unfaithful to the book-- Carrie LIVES! We even see her driving to Florida in disguise with Sue Snell. Hopefully, again, they will fix this problem by the time the DVD is released (perhaps with an alternate ending feature?)
In short, I enjoyed this new effort better than the old, DaPalma effort (which I watched immediately after viewing the remake for comparison). It was more faithful to the book plotwise, charactereise, and with the dialogues, and the characters and the way they develop is far more superior.

Matthaus Passion (Ltd Ed)
Matthaus Passion (Ltd Ed)
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 106.95
7 used & new from CDN$ 60.21

5.0 out of 5 stars TRUE Religious Music, Re-Released After 18 Years, June 13 2003
Philippe Herreweghe seems to be taking the path of his mentor Mr. Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Both are very reputable conductors of early music ensembles, and both seem to release a new interpretation of J.S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion every decade or so.
Harmonia Mundi's 1999 release of Herreweghe's new reading of the St. Matthew Passion was met with unanimously excellent reviews (see how overjoyed I was in my review of Herreweghe's 1999 release) and to this day it still drawing much attention. There is much to be loved about it: Ian Bostridge's Evangelist, the Collegium Vocale's excellent and uniform singing, the list goes on.
It's hard to believe that Herreweghe also recorded St. Matthew Passion in 1985, this time with Barbara Schlick, Rene Jacobs, and Howard Crook as evangelist. Much of Herreweghe's interpretation has changed during these years. His first stab at the "Great Passion" is re-released here.
When I first heard that the 1985 recording would be re-released and re-packaged I was overjoyed since my original set (which I acquired in 1985 after the original release) was so old and scratched up that it was unusable in a CD player. So I had not listened to this, one of my favorite renditions, in seventeen or eighteen years.
The choirs in the 1985 recording is much larger. Herreweghe even summons his other choir, La Chapelle Royale, to take the part of the first choir while the Collegium Vocale is assigned to the second choir. The sound is rather large in this 1985 recording, which, I guess, is a minus in the light of more recent musicological research favoring smaller choruses (even one-voice-per-part choruses. And remember how small the choruses in the 1999 version are-- smaller choruses are more praised nowadays in performing Bach). And the orchestra does not play with the legato that graces Herreweghe's newer recording so perfectly (if you listend to Herreweghe's interview on the CD-Rom that accompanies the newer St. Matthew release, he addresses the legato issue.) So while the sound of the already-classic 1999 release is so unique, the 1985 seems rather usual in comparison, sounding more like other period instrument perfomances by Brueggen or Gardiner.
Howard Crook is an excellent evangelist. I would not compare him to Ian Bostridge on the 1999 reocording because they take very different approaches. I appreciate hearing Barbara Schlick here, but Sybilla Ruben's charming, almost boyish soprano is to be missed. Love him or hate him, Rene Jacobs is also on the older recording's roster. Andreas Scholl is a definite plus over Jacobs, as some people Jacob's voice rather squaky (I find it just fine on select recordings)
Herreweghe's tempi were MUCH slower in 1985. So virtuosic arias such as "Gebt mir meinem Jesum wieder" lose their sparkle. Yet the gravity of the slower tempi are far more contemplative. And yes, while the older record lacks some in drama, it is a record thatf forces you into the mindset of the subject matter. This is TRUE religious music.
Herreweghe's newer recording tops my list of favorite St. Matthew Passions. While Harnoncourt's 2001 release steals second place, Herreweghe's older recording, presented here in a re-release, has third-place hands down. I appreciate this approach more than I do Gardiner's release, which I am not too crazy about. Gardiner's sound engineers tried to create too much of the stereophony of the St. Thomas Church when they made one choir more audible than the other, therefore making Gardiner's record lose some points in drama (the second choir sounds like it's whispering and the soloists seem like the scattered about random places inside the recording venue.)
Herreweghe's older recording has that "dark" atmosphere which I find particularly irresitible considering the subject matter. This dark atmosphere is unique to this recording and doesn't seem to manifest itself even in the new recording of 1999. The 1985 one sound also more archaic, which many people will also find as a benifit.
Both old and new recordings by Herreweghe are great although I prefer the newer one, obviously. But this is, nonetheless, a must have recording- a collector's item, given the low price and considering that this release was pulled from record store shelves and Harmonia Mundi put it out of print for several years. Harmonia Mundi's and Philippe Herreweghe's 1985 St. Matthew Passion is a recording worthy of more recognition- the kind of great recognition it got nearly two decades ago after it's first release.
Buy this Box Set. It will be something you will want to return to often.

Mass In B Min
Mass In B Min
Price: CDN$ 34.06
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soli Deo Gloria, April 29 2003
This review is from: Mass In B Min (Audio CD)
Although I've been listening to Bach's choral works all my life, I am relatively a newcomer to Gardiner's B-Minor mass. Upon first listening it has become one of my favorite recordings of Bach's Great Catholic Mass next to Andrew Parrot's and Phillipe Herreweghe's.
Gardiner's reading is much different than that of Herreweghe's. It seems to be impossible to record the "perfect" B-Minor Mass, and by all means, neither have achieved it- although both have come close. What is readily noticable is that Herrweghe's recording is more pious and introverted, while Gardiner's is very extroverted.
I was pleased to see that Gardiner chose to scale down his choir to a smaller force. Recorded in 1985, it was released during a time shortly after Rifkin gave his infamous lecture on performing Bach's concerted choral works using one voice per part. While the liner notes of this present recording do not seem to praise such an approach, Gardiner uses the One Voice Per Part principle in several numbers. What a surprise! This is a very "different" BWV 232. For example, "Et in terra pax" is performed only with soloists in the beginning, while the choir (or concertists) enter one by one (just as the concertists enter one by one in the famous Cantata No. 21) This helps the recording build dramatic intensity. The "Crucifixus" is also appropriately performed OVPP.
Each soloist was very good, but I did not find myself particularly blown away. The orchestral playing was expressive and joyful, although the trumpets seemed to blare at times.
To compare the Herreweghe recording to this one may be impossible since they are so different. While Herreweghe seemed to focus of bringing the B-Minor Mass back to its rightful place the church (and his choice of top soloists to match), Gardiner still presents BWV 232 with irresistable freshness and bombast.
This is a recording I will want to return to often.

St. Matthew Passion
St. Matthew Passion
Price: CDN$ 33.02
30 used & new from CDN$ 26.07

5.0 out of 5 stars Pioneering Recording with one minor flaw, April 8 2003
This review is from: St. Matthew Passion (Audio CD)
In the 19th century the revival of Bach's works was under way. The St. Matthew Passion was justly hailed as a monument of choral sound. Up until about three decades ago, the St. Matthew Passion was performed as such: two large orchestras of modern instruments, two large choruses, operatic soloists, slow and brooding tempi. Recordings of the Passion by the likes of Klemperer, Richter, and Karajan came to rise.
And also, nearly three decades ago, Nikolaus Harnoncourt challenged this practice- recording the St. Matthew Passion in what we now call today, "Historically Informed Practice," (HIP) using a scaled down orchestra of authentic instruments, a boy choir, and soloists that were better suited to a small consort than an opera house. IMAGINE THE OUTRAGE! Of course, despite Harnoncourt's scholarhip his was a heavily criticized release. However, it was also a pioneering one: yielding a spread in H.I.P. recording such as those from Gardiner and Herreweghe.
Today (April 4th, 2003, the release date of McCreesh's St. Matthew Passion) we witness this same phenomenon for our generation. In the 1980s Joshua Rifkin proposed (and with very persuasive evidence) that Bach's choral works be performed One Voice Per Part (OVPP) meaning no "choir", per se, but a consort- of one singer per line. It is again, a challenged theory (having MANY current musicologists such as the admirable Ton Koopman fuming in anger) but one which is spreading though the musical circle like a wildfire. And it is this theory that Paul McCreesh has applied to his new record. Will it be controversial? Most likely. **But remember Harnoncourt.**
Now did Bach want QUANTITY or QUALITY in his choir?
Naysayers, beware- *and please do your research.* The OVPP principle makes perfect sense. Bach simply did not have enough students to fit into an actual "choir." Keep in mind that he had to look after the musical activity of FOUR churches during his term in Leipzig, having only one choir to divide amongst the four churches. A very hefty portion of the boys in the choir were deemed by Bach to be "unusable" (and he even goes as far as to name the boys by name. The number of singers he had left available is documented, and few.) Bach would have been left with too few students to serve in a larger choir that we are used to hearing today. It is out of the question, as one reviewer suggests, that the Congregation sang along with the chorales, given that all of the chorales in the St. Matthew Passion were complexly harmonized and therefore, it would be impossible for a congregation to follow along.
More importantly, it was not even *favorable* to use a large choir in Bach's day. Andrew Parrot's book, "The Essential Bach Choir," quotes from several sources that the smallest forces were much perferred in order to make polyphony truly audible.
As for the recording itself: I would describe it as *almost*-perfect. The OVPP Theory reads like hell on paper, but when applied in concert or in record, the results are breathtakingly beautiful. And this recording is simply that: breathtakingly beautiful, as if all the layers of the music have been peeled off and we can hear each line as Bach wrote it. It is a fresh recording. The orchestra (Gabrieli Consort) is a vivacious bunch and McCreesh's interpretation is simply inspiring. I would put his interpretation on par with Herreweghe's. I will even take the risk and declare that I fell McCreesh's ariosos and arias are far more effective than Herreweghe's (although the award for "choral" movements surely go to Herreweghe.)
Tempi are well chosen. The faster-than-usual Opening Chorus sounds more alert and urgent. It is a very dramatic dialogue of choruses, suitable for the text.
OVPP poses one small flaw, strongly evident in this recording: the choice and balance of the singers (since each is now so audible). I am a huge fan of Magdalena Kozena and Suzan Bickley (the altos in the McCreesh Recording) but I don't believe they were right for this particular part. Their vibratos stand out far too much, one might say "too operatic," while the sopranos sound perfectly suited with their more pure voices absent of vibrato, in keeping with the sacred baroque "sound". Same for the male soloists, but to a lesser extent. I could do with *much* less vibrato.
Don't be discouraged. Kozena's and Bickley's vibratos aside, they still do execute their arias more than beautifully.
Padmore is a thrilling Evangelist and this role will gain him the third spot in my "Big-Three" of St. Matthew Passion Evangelists (the ones I have in mind are Anthony Rolfe-Johnson and Ian Bostridge.)
You may not light like this record at all at first, but after several listenings, it will grow on you. And that is a promise.
This St. Matthew Passion is a complete package (albeit that it comes on 2 CDs instead of the usual 3 CDs.) It is even slightly longer than Herreweghe's 3CD release.
This will definitely be one of the most controversial recordings made, but again: remember Harnoncourt.
It WOULD be a much more pleasant debate if Andrew Parrot's "The Essential Bach Choir," in which he addresses the OVPP question using undoubtable historical evidence, was read by more reviewers before assuming they know PERSONALLY what Bach wanted while the intentions of himself and his contemporaries are documented and favor smaller choruses of one to a part.
I highly reccomend this set. It is a small consort (but hey, Bach most likely would have heard AND *wanted* it that way) but all the famous drama is still there and the soloists (especially the sopranos, but much less, the altos) do a fine job. Just be patient enough to look past the vibrato heavy altos. Do not hesitate to add this to your collection.
Regarding sound quality, it sounds just as it did when I attended McCreesh's performance of the 1727 version of the St. Matthew Passion a few years back. The sound engineering on this CD would, therefore, be very limited. The sound quality on these records are very good, and that's not thanks to sound engineering, but for the choice of recording venue (a rather large cathedral).
In closing: *Bach's primary concern about his actual "choir" was not the QUANTITY of voices, but it was the QUALITY of voices which was his concern.

Lutheran Masses Vol. 2
Lutheran Masses Vol. 2
Price: CDN$ 21.54
21 used & new from CDN$ 14.36

5.0 out of 5 stars Stellar Renditions, April 2 2003
This review is from: Lutheran Masses Vol. 2 (Audio CD)
Does Joshua Rifkin's One-Voice-Per-Part (OVPP) theory really *sound* as awful as it appears on paper?
Not at all. In my perspective, as part of the growing number of OVPP "converts," the theory is not only wonderful to hear but necessary to the music in that all voice lines can be heard clearly.
And these performances are a prime example of OVPP: neat and clear. The sound is actually more convincing than the sound of a 12 to 16 voice choir we are used to hearing. The archaic sound is just more believable for the music of Bach, in my mind.
Balance is also an important issue regarding OVPP, and I'm glad to say that both Volume 1 and 2 of this edition of Bach masses keeps balance well in mind.
The soloists are each top-rate and the authentic, orchestra is likewise great.

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