Thursday, November 24, 2016

Gilles, Jean. (1668-1705) Requiem & Motet "Cantate Jordanis incolœ" CD 1.

New acquisition.
Bought in November 2016.
First listen: 24-11-2016.
Label: Ligia.
CD 1 from 3.
Recording year: 2008.
Recording venue: St, Pierre-des-Chartreux, Toulouse, France.
Recording engineer: Eric Baratin.
Running time: 68:10.
Classical relevance: Essential for your collection.

Works performed:
See heading.

Works performed by:
Les Passions-Orchestre Baroque de Montauban.
Chœur de Chambre les éléments, Jöel Suhubiette.
Jean-Marc Andrieu, Conductor.

Anne Magouët, Soprano.
Vincent Lièvre-Picard, Counter tenor.
Bruno Boterf & Jean-François Novelli, Tenors.
Alain Buet, Baritone.

First of all this is magnificent music and made quite some impression on my senses, both emotionally and intellectually. I never even heard of him, until I saw some mention of Gilles in a booklet about french music of his time. Never followed this up though. Then I saw that the label Ligia had a sale and this box was among the list, so I ordered with some trepidation, for I am overly critical of vocals and the way it is performed (sung) and the voices used. I did not have to worry for this is a performance of grace, passion and pathos. Maybe a bit too heavy on the passion and pathos, but it also enhances the emotional impact, which in this performance is considerable. The singing can be forward and loud, as the passion and pathos is near romantic ideals. But the total impact is utterly rewarding despite the fact that the singing is sometimes over the top, especially with the choir and one of the tenors. Choir balance is fantastic though, and about the instrumentalists nothing but praise. Textual clarity is superb, and the recording ambiance is very good. Tempi are brilliantly chosen as is the pitch.  So we get warm and committed singing, sometimes exuberant in its expression, but also with beautiful intimate moments. 
The Requiem is one of the finest I ever heard. Accomplished and very well written. The Motet following is no less of a fine work, that gave me the same amount of musical pleasure.
The text in the booklet is well translated into English, but the Latin text is not. All else is only in French including the performers info, which is a real pity. Why the French think that this is not so important for non French speaking people is beyond me.
A set which no one can afford to be without.

My playlist for 25-4-2018.

If by any chance you might be interested in my thoughts or feelings about the recordings of today, please let me know, and I will provide ad...