6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Good, but it's still Gardiner!,
By A Customer
This review is from: Christmas Oratorio Comp Germa (Audio CD)I must say that for most of Gardiner's recordings that I find them
rather dull. I bought his Beethoven symphonies, his Bach St. Matthew Passion, his Bach B Minor Mass, and, of course, this one. The Mass is not bad (three stars), the Beethoven is too fast and perky, and the St. Matthew.....well, it's popcorn Baroque interpretation all the way, though it has some fine singers on it. But Gardiner and his damn lack of musical instincts ruins it with tempi that are too fast. (I am a musicologist, so I am aware of his son's statement about his tempi....but we really have NO idea what that meant for the times. We must trust the natural flow of the harmonic rhythm of works to determine what the best tempo must be.)
But here again in this recording of the Christmas Oratorio, Gardiner has fine people to work with, and yet somehow misses the joy of this work. It is good, but not the best. Spirited, but not full of the Spirit. Clean, but rather soul-less. Best to stick with Karl Ritcher or a fine recording that is overlooked by Philip Ledger (King's College Choir) with Janet Baker. Or the more recent Rene Jacobs one. I've not heard the Rilling, so cannot comment on it.