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Michael Chance (Counter-tenor)
Bach Cantatas - General Discussions

The Recordings

See Michael Chance - Short Biography

A Chance meeting...

Benjamin Mullins wrote (February 4, 2000):

I was listening to my trusty recording of Gardiner's Mass in B minor (BWV 232) and marveling at the alto arias with Michael Chance, and wondered if he had done any more Bach. I know he has done quite a bit with Gardiner but I can't think of anything else. I must say, he has to be my absolute favorite Counter-tenor! I get a little choked up every time I hear him sing the 'Agnus Dei' in the Gardiner recording. His voice is so clear and pure-sounding, unlike the sometimes (only sometimes) flowery or thin sound you get from some others. Listening to him I never get nervous over the feeling he is going to hit a bad note as I do with other male altos. Also, any non-Bach recordings he has made are welcome too, but those would probably be best recommended off-list.

Donald Satz wrote (February 4, 2000):

Ben asked about Bach recordings with Michael Chance other than the B minor

Mass (BWV 232). In addition to Gardiner's St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244), already mentioned, there's a Gardiner cantata disc on Archiv of BWV 140 and BWV 147, a Sony disc of secular cantatas conducted by Bernius, and a Chandos CD of the Magnificat (BWV 243) coupled with Vivaldi's Gloria conducted by Hickox. I haven't heard the Chandos, but Chance is excellent in the others.

Jaime Jean wrote (February 4, 2000):

(To Benjamin Mullins) You will find Michael Chance in Herreweghe's Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) from 1989 - which happens to be my favorite recording of this work.

Colin Thart wrote (February 4, 2000):

(To Benjamin Mullins) I think I read somewhere that the best recording of Erbarme Dich from the SMP (BWV 244) is by Chance with Gardiner conducting (also on Archiv).

Stijn DePaepe wrote (February 4, 2000):

(To Benjamin Mullins) I only have one other recording with the fabulous duo Gardiner-Chance: DG-Archiv recording of "Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit" (BWV 106) and "Laß, Fürstin, laß noch einen Strahl" (BWV 198) (Trauerode and Actus Tragicus. Superb CD.

Johan van Veen wrote (February 4, 2000):

(To Benjamin Mullins) Last year he has sung in one of Ton Koopman's concerts with Bach cantatas. I don't know whether the soloists in the concerts are always in the CD-recordings as well. They were performing BWV 20, 119, BWV 130 and BWV 180. I don't know whether these already have been released, but since the concert took place in March last year, I don't think they are. There is another Bach recording with him: the St John Passion, with the Choir of King's College, Cambridge and the Brandenburg Consort, directed by Stephen Cleobury. (The other soloists are: Catherine Bott, John Mark Ainsley, Paul Agnew, Stephen Richardson and Stephen Varcoe.) That is on Brilliant Classics (99050). He is also in two secular cantatas, BWV 206 and 207a, with Ruth Ziesak, Christoph Prégardien and Peter Kooy, and the Stuttgart Chamber Choir and Concerto Köln, directed by Frieder Bernius (Sony - SK 46 492). I can't share your enthusiasm for Chance, though.

Ryan Michero wrote (February 4, 2000):

(To Benjamin Mullins) List-mate Ehud finds his performance of the "Agnus Dei" on Brüggen's B-minor Mass (BWV 232) even more affecting, but I haven't heard it myself.

I have heard his singing on the Hickox Magnificat (BWV 243) recording, which is probably my favorite version of this piece (although I still need to do a direct comparison with Suzuki's version, which is also great).

Patrik Enander wrote (February 6, 2000):

(To Benjamin Mullins) I have a CD with secular cantatas, conducted by Frieder Bernius I haven't heard it for some time, I friend of mine borrowed it ages ago, but I remember that Prégardien was excellent. Chance is good too, but not in the same class as Scholl or Lesne

Ehud Shiloni wrote (February 7, 2000):

< Ryan Michero wrote: List-mate Ehud finds his performance of the "Agnus Dei" on Brüggen's B-minor Mass (BWV 232) even more affecting, but I haven't heard it myself. >

Ryan remembered correctly!

In the JEG recording, Chance singing comes [to my ears] close to perfection. The Brüggen version was recorded live, there is some background noise, occasional coughs from the audience, and the balance with the instruments is not as polished as on the JEG version. However I sensed from Chance an even deeper expression of feelings and some more intensity [as may occur sometimes in a live performance]. The differences are quite insignificant overall - both recordings grip you by the throat, as you said.

Michael Chance - Short Biography

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