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Fanfare Magazine: 14:5 (05-06/1991)
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Harmonia Gold

HMG 501341

Code-barres / Barcode: 3149020134115
Consultez toutes les évaluations recensées pour ce cd ~~~~ Reach all the evaluations located for this CD

Reviewer: J. F. Weber

The five previous versions of the Requiem were detailed in connection with Hervé Niquet's recent recording (Fanfare 13:5), and the same conductor included this motet on a later disc of his comprehensive traversal of the works of Jean Gilles (14:3). Now we have a new version of the Requiem by a conductor who gave us one barely a decade ago (5:6). He has shaved two or three minutes from his playing time and opted for Latin pronunciation according to French values, as the rival version by John Hajdu (also 5:6) and Niquet did earlier. The notes say nothing about the edition used, but the work begins with the drum rhythm found in the old Corrette edition used in the first two recordings (both conducted by Louis Frémaux for Erato). This is odd because his former recording was based on the manuscript kept in the Bibliothèque Nationale, not on the Corrette edition, although he added Corrette's Carillon to fill out the record. The lack of Corrette's fuller instrumentation suggests that this is mostly based on the manuscript (Hajdu and Niquet apparently used their own editions based on the manuscript).

Otherwise this is a stylish presentation typical of Herreweghe's work with his ensemble. The soloists include soprano Agnès Mellon and bass Peter Kooy, both fine, while tenors Howard Crook and Hervé Lamy are excellent. Since Diligam te is the composer's most familiar work after the Requiem, the new disc would seem to be an attempt to bypass the ADDA series, which has issued these works on different discs among the first three volumes of what must be the composer's

complete works. Niquet has made that series indispensable for collectors of French Baroque, but Herreweghe may be trying to satisfy the need for a sample Gilles disc.

The sound is superb, thirteen tracks access sections of both works, and texts are printed with three translations. The notes are adequate except for the questions not answered. The cover art is appropriate to the period and the subject. A recommendation of this fine disc will depend on a desire to duplicate the Niquet series or to pass it up.


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