Antonín Dvorák's Stabat Mater, Op. 58, written in the aftermath of the deaths of three of his children, is a sober and powerful work, inexplicably neglected and unlike any other work of choral music from the 19th century. Perhaps most performances don't capture its full weight, but this live recording from the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Mariss Jansons, does so. There are many deep pleasures here. The orchestra's choir is extraordinary: rich yet without a hint of wobble and utterly clear in its sense of the text. Jansons keeps things at a deliberate pace that lets the music breathe and the currents of personal experience rise to the surface. The soloists, none terribly well known, are fine in their individual numbers, but absolutely transcendent in ensembles, nowhere more so that in the sublime "Quando corpus morietur" finale (track 10); there are a couple of other strong recordings of this work, but it seems likely that no one has ever matched this conclusion. The live recording from the Herkulessaal in Munich is impressively transparent and faithful to the spontaneity of the event. A superb Dvorák release.
Bonjour à tous ! Aujourd'hui, on se retrouve pour une critique du nouveau coffret de la collection "Écoutez le cinéma !" de Stéphane Lerouge, consacré à l’œuvre musico-cinématographique du (plus) grand artiste français : Serge Gainsbourg.
In 1745, the king granted Jean-Philippe Rameau the position of Composer du cabinet du roy, which came with a pension. This new period would see productions in a lighter vein, in collaboration with the librettist Louis de Cahusac, and some of the Burgundian musician's most important masterpieces. 'Zaïs', performed in 1748 on the stage of the Académie Royale de Musique, is one of them. This ballet-héroïque gave French music one of its finest works.
Gombert’s compositions are all vocal, some of which are for ensembles of up to twelve parts. His contrapuntal language is based on that of Josquin, but taken to the next level of complexity. Gombert’s vocal textures are often densely packed and the individual lines are characterised by an avoidance of rests. A substantial number of Gombert’s compositions survive, including ten masses, over 160 motets, 60 secular chansons, and a set of eight Magnificats (one in each mode). The motets on this recording, for 4–6 voices, are all fine representations of Gombert’s musical style.