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John Eliot Gardiner & Monteverdi Choir & English Baroque Soloists
Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works
General Discussions - Part 5

Continue from Part 4

From 21 August New York Times: A Year Overflowing with Bach Cantatas

JohSebastianBach wrote (August 21, 2000):
http://partners.nytimes.com/library/music/082100gardiner-bach.html?Partner=AOL&RefId=3eEFnnnn2Ful

Click here: A Year Overflowing With Bach Cantatas/August 21, 2000

A Year Overflowing with Bach Cantatas by WARREN HOGE

TEWKESBURY, England -- Large, ambitious projects often have their origins in seemingly inconsequential small moments. For the British conductor John Eliot Gardiner, it was a glance at a program of a concert he was about to present in 1996. "I read in my own C.V. that I was due to record all the cantatas of Bach, and it struck me as very odd because I didn't know about it," he recalled. Even by his own industrious scheduling standards -- he already has more than 150 CD's to his name -- he computed that he would have to live to 120 to complete the task.

But Sir John, who is 57, found the challenge tantalising, and the solution turned out to be characteristically bold: perform and record them all in one year, 2000, the 250th anniversary of Bach's death.

Thus was born the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage, a 12-month odyssey of more than 60 concerts by Sir John's masterly early-music groups, the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists. They are playing all 198 surviving sacred cantatas in the most architecturally rich churches, monasteries, priories and cathedrals across 14 European countries and the United States, where the tour ends on New Year's Eve at St. Bartholomew's Church.

The places chosen were those Bach had some association with, some he might have visited if he had had the chance and others, like the 15th century abbey with its towering Norman pillars here in this medieval town in the west of England, that made the cut for their sheer reverential beauty. The performance dates through the year correspond to the Sundays and feast days for which each cantata was created, based on its own piece of liturgy.

One of the leaders of the early-music movement that took root in England in the 1970's and 1980's, Sir John combines taskmaster discipline and intellectual rigor with the energy to produce brisk, toe-tapping Bach, full of thrusting attacks and swaying rhythms. Now his expressive hands are tamping down the sound; now shaping the full parabola of a serpentine line; now tripping the cadence into dance time; and then sending bass notes plunging down to the crypt and soprano tones soaring upward to the fan vaulting of the sanctuary.

Though Bach is best known now for his grand masterpieces like the "St. Matthew Passion" and the B minor Mass, it was the 340 cantatas composed during his five years, starting in 1723, as cantor at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig that drew the most notice when he died on July 28, 1750. "They were the only pieces of music noted in the first paragraph of his obituary," Sir John said.

For Bach it was a frantic period of exalted creativity and commonplace drudgery that delights the musical historian in Sir John.

He said: "Bach would sit down on Monday morning at his desk and think: 'What's the gospel, the epistle of next Sunday? What can I write about this? I have to do it to bolster the sermon. Who's going to be preaching? What's he going to be saying? How am I going to negotiate with him? And how am I going to do something that makes his words redundant?' "

He chuckled at this last notion. "I'm sure that was a part of it," he said. "He believed his music was going to be more effective than any amount of words."

Sir John wasn't finished with the busy week in the Leipzig life of Johann Sebastian Bach: "Not only does he have to compose the piece, he has to have it copied. So he gets the family factory going, with his wife, Anna Magdalena, and his various sons. And then he has to start rehearsing with the kids of the Thomas school and assign the obbligato and the soloists, and he's pretty merciless about throwing very difficult arias at kids who may not have the technical wherewithal to sing them in an accomplished way.

"He's quite uncompromising, but at the same time he's very practical in a way. You can sense where he's got a virtuoso trumpeter or viola da gamba player, and he writes something very elaborate. Or other times when he seems to say, 'O.K., we know the boys can't really cope with a florid line here, so we'll give them just the hymn tune and leave the men to do the more elaborate polyphonic line.'

"That's the sort of usual week, then you have the festivals that come thick and fast, like Christmas, Easter, Whitsun and other saints' days where he has to double, triple, quadruple his output as composer and also to conduct. And the music doesn't stop when the ink is dry. Because then you turn the page, and it's Monday morning and time for a new piece."

This short and intense period of conveyer-belt cantatas produced pieces that were performed only once in Bach's lifetime. But for Sir John they are works for the ages.

"It is a paradox," he said, "but this music written for a very parochial, even sectarian audience for a specific Sunday in the church year carries with it an extraordinary message of universality that seems to leap over frontiers and time barriers, and we are finding people today responding to it in a very refreshing and direct way."

"Operatic" is a word that recurs in Sir John's discussion of the cantatas. "On the one hand you can call the cantatas almost sermons in music, but in another sense they're mini-operas," he said. "People sometimes ask me what kind of opera composer Bach would have been, and I say, 'We already know.' "

Sir John's musical sensibility was established early in life, thanks to an upbringing of startling originality. "Looked at with outside eyes, my childhood must seem very peculiar and eccentric," he said. "But then to me it seemed totally normal."

He was reared on a farm in Dorset that was the centrepiece of a post-war rural reinvigoration plan initiated by his great-uncle, Balfour Gardiner, a composer who gave up writing music in the 1920's, and his father, Rolf. They planted four million trees and revived guilds, old harvest rites and farm holidays. His mother, Marabel, an art historian, was, he said gleefully, "even a bit more wacky and eccentric." She taught young John Eliot to speak French, German and Latin by the time he was 8, and she gave him art instruction by taking him to Rome, Florence and Venice. "She knew them stone by stone and painting by painting," he said.

On Sundays and holidays she would round up family members, visitors and villagers and stage mimed Nativity and Resurrection plays or dramatised Nordic and Celtic sagas. They also sang masses and motets, and by the time he went away to boarding school, he was playing violin and viola, turning his tenor voice to the Lieder repertory and dabbling in conducting.

When Sir John went to King's College, Cambridge, on a history scholarship, everyone assumed he would become a chorister. But he said he found the treatment of English music "precious, polite and mannered" in comparison with the robust approach he had learned at home. His majors were medieval Spanish and classical Arabic, but he showed such interest in music that his tutor recommended that he take a year and explore his conducting ambitions.

He decided to devote the time to studying the background of Monteverdi's 1610 Vespers of the Blessed Virgin and preparing an updated edition of them. To do so he created a choir, his present-day Monteverdi Choir, and performed the work in the King's College chapel. This March, 36 years later to the day, he performed three Bach cantatas there in a triumphant return concert.

After studying with Nadia Boulanger in Paris, he took conducting posts in Lyon, Hamburg and Vancouver. But he always kept the Monteverdi group intact back in England, and in 1978 he addedthe English Baroque Soloists. He is said to be good at glowering at laggard performers and flinging music stands across rehearsal spaces, but his singers and players have remained loyal, with two of the choir members reaching their 35th year with the group.

His former wife, Elizabeth Wilcock, was first violinist with the English Baroque Soloists, and though they are divorced, they remain friends. She and the couple's three daughters rushed to embrace Sir John moments after the Tewkesbury Abbey concert on July 16.

For the last four years he has shared his homes in London and on the family farm in Dorset with Isabella de Sabata, 40, an Italian from a musical family who worked for years as a press representative for Deutsche Grammophone in London and Hamburg and who is handling much of the planning of the current odyssey.

Deutsche Grammophone was originally going to make discs of all 198 surviving cantatas, but when they cut back on the number, Sir John and Ms. de Sabata decided to produce their own professional recordings of every performance. A specially built mobile studio van arrives the day before they do at each site to set up wiring and equipment, and rehearsals and post-performance run-through are often recorded to make sure that substitute material is on hand for editing.

Prince Charles is the patron and a contributor to the project, which is also supported by other private donations and corporate grants. He and Sir John are friends, sharing a passion for organic farming as well as music, and the prince has organised fund-raising dinners at Buckingham Palace and his Highgrove estate in Gloucestershire. The project is still $1.5 million shy of the $8.25 million needed.

Sir John said the pilgrimage fulfilled his original purpose in becoming a full-time musician.

"I wanted to confront and come to terms with the great heritage of European music, which in the 1960's and 1970's was very selectively performed," he said. "It was the precursors to the great masterpieces that fascinated me. The historian in me wanted to know what the function of that music was, what brought it into being, for whom was it composed, in what sort of building would it have been performed, to what kind of audience, in what kind of acoustics with what sort of instruments. It wasn't nostalgia or antiquarianism. I saw it as musical archaeology."

As his yearlong musical dig goes on, Sir John says he is finding his time well spent. "Bach," he said, "is probably the only composer whose musical output is so rich, so challenging to the performers and so spiritually uplifting to both performer and listener alike that one would gladly spend a year in his exclusive company."

 

Gardiner Cantatas

Emìle Swanepoel wrote (October 23, 2000):
Lately I have seen many of the cantata discs that JEG is recording this year. Are there any that is really special and suited for a first time listener to his performance style?

Donald Satz wrote (October 23, 2000):
(To Emìle Swanepoel) I don't consider any of the Gardiner "Pilgrimage" CD's to be special in comparison to one another. One piece of advice, which I didn't apply to myself, is that two of the discs released to date are nothing more than reissues from the early 90's and these reissues are going at premium price. It's important to look at the back cover to see when the performances were recorded. DG either says nothing or little about the reissue situation.

Armagan Ekici wrote (October 23, 2000):
(To Emìle Swanepoel) I would say on average they are... average.

The old recordings in the series are very good, though. I would say sample one of the following:
BWV 140 & 147
BWV 61, 36, 62 (Advent)
BWV 43, 128, 37, 11

These are all "as Gardiner as it gets". I am currently listening to the new "Christmas" one and it sounds good so far.

I think 140/147 is one of his best recordings. I like the "funeral" one a lot too, but it doesn't have too many advocates so skip that one for the time being.

Pascal Bédaton wrote (October 24, 2000):
(To Donald Satz) In the Gardiner Bach Pilgrimage recordings, the first 2 records are
re-issued and the 3rd one was recording in 1999. IMO, both and the following 3 are not enough as good as what we have the right to wait from "the most beautiful choir in the world..."

But... a new CD came out 1 or 2 weeks ago, from the second part of the Pilgrimage, including BWV 82 and BWV 125 and this one is very good. Not as good as Bach experts like Herreweghe or Suzuki but, IMO, good enough to be on my shelves between the 2 others.

I like very much Gardiner but I do not understand why he has so many problems with Bach (excepted the Magnificat). All his others recordings (Händel oratorios, Purcell...) are always in the best records.

 

Classical Releases [BACH: Cantatas BWV 172, BWV 59, BWV 74, BWV 34 - 10/24/2000]

Barry Murray wrote (October 25, 2000):
I thought list members might be interested in the following review.

T I P W O R L D http://www.tipworld.com
Classical Releases October 24th, 2000

TODAY'S TIP: by Tim Pfaff

BACH: Cantatas BWV 172, BWV 59, BWV 74, BWV 34 (Archiv Produktion)

John Eliot Gardiner's latest installment in his partial Bach cantata cycle makes good on his previous lackluster one. These four cantatas for the first day of Whitsun (Pfingsttag, or Pentecost) are vivid, virtuoso works, mostly for largish forces, and Gardiner's English Baroque Soloists and Monteverdi Choir are back to doing their best work. Perhaps working with better vocal soloists has reinspired Gardiner.

In any case, this CD's set includes the marvelous new Czech soprano Magdalena Kozena, from whom we will be hearing much more soon, as well as countertenor Robin Blaze, alto Bernarda Fink, and bass Reinhard Hagen, among others. Their work is both inspired and inspiring. The soloists and chorus pay keen attention to the texts--critical to these works, and so missing in Gardiner's last installment--and give full due to the spiritual dimensions of these works written for the church.

Tim Pfaff is a freelance classical music critic who serves as the West Coast correspondent for London's Financial Times. He is the former editor of two national music magazines, Piano & Keyboard and Historical Performance.

 

Record company dumps Britain's Mr Bach

Charles Francis wrote (December 18, 2000):
The following extract is by Nicholas Pyke, in Independent Enjoyment, 17.12.00:

"There is a crisis in the music industry and the latest victim is the celebrated conductor John Eliot Gardiner. In less rarified circles, he would be known as Britain's "Mr Bach". Gardiner's recordings of the great composer dominate the classical shelves of record shops and department stores. Thousands will sell this Christmas.

But now, like dozens of other top-flight performers, he has found himself dumped by his recording label. Sales of expensive new classical performances are plummeting, and the major corporations are cancelling contracts with all but the most bankable and attractive of celebrity performers.

So when, on New Year's Eve, he mounts the conductor's rostrum before a packed New York audience, there will be no escaping the note of discord in what should be a celebration - the final concert in his remarkable series of 200 cantatas in a year-long "pilgrimage" to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Bach's death.

Deutsche Grammophon (DG), the yellow label famous for its high-minded promotion of the classical repertoire, has effectively sacked him after a partnership lasting the best part of two decades - a move that has shocked fans and musicians alike. "

For the full article see: http://www.independent.co.uk/enjoyment/Music/features/2000-12/gardiner171200.shtml

Charles Francis wrote (December 19, 2000):
I first heard John Eliot Gardiner in concert some 15 years ago and he delivered some of the most wonderful Mozart I've ever heard. While his rendering of early music such as Buxtehude's Membra Jesu Nostri is often brilliant, I do feel he's not at his best with Bach. I'm not sure he merits the title "Mr Bach", but notwithstanding, here's an article from the yesterday's Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/enjoyment/Music/features/2000-12/gardiner171200.shtml

"Record company dumps Britain's Mr Bach
Does the record industry still believe in serious music? Or is it only interested in 'crossover' artists, football stadium hits, and violinists in wet T-shirts?

By Nicholas Pyke

17 December 2000

There is a crisis in the music industry and the latest victim is the celebrated conductor John Eliot Gardiner.

In less rarified circles, he would be known as Britain's "Mr Bach". Gardiner's recordings of the great composer dominate the classical shelves of record shops and department stores. Thousands will sell this Christmas.

But now, like dozens of other top-flight performers, he has found himself dumped by his recording label. Sales of expensive new classical performances are plummeting, and the major corporations are cancelling contracts with all but the most bankable and attractive of celebrity performers.

So when, on New Year's Eve, he mounts the conductor's rostrum before a packed New York audience, there will be no escaping the note of discord in what should be a celebration - the final concert in his remarkable series of 200 cantatas in a year-long "pilgrimage" to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Bach's death.

Deutsche Grammophon (DG), the yellow label famous for its high-minded promotion of the classical repertoire, has effectively sacked him after a partnership lasting the best part of two decades - a move that has shocked fans and musicians alike.

Together they have revolutionised performances of baroque music, introducing up-tempo recordings with small groups in place of the massive and often lugubrious interpretations which held sway for most of the last century. But this was not enough to save his contract.

Gardiner is not the only leading artist to find himself out in the cold. Percussionist Evelyn Glennie, and conductors of the stature of Bernard Haitink and André Previn have all found themselves without the contracts to make regular recordings they would once have expected by right.

Instead, the major companies - Universal, Warner, Sony, EMI and Bertelsmann (BMG) - are seeking consolation in "crossover music" or popular versions of the classics, ruthless exploitation of their back catalogues, and a handful of highly marketable, often glamorous superstars.

Faced with declining sales, the corporate owners have introduced marketing tactics from the world of pop. Vanessa Mae, as famous for her revealing attire as for her talent on the violin, is dominant at EMI. Decca is marketing Russell "The Voice" Watson, the industrial-strength tenor who sang at Old Trafford for manager Sir Alex Ferguson's testimonial. And then of course there is Charlotte Church, Sony's biggest-selling artist in Britain.

Marketability and good looks are crucial for even the most technically brilliant musicians if they are to get the full backing of the record companies - violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, for example; pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet or the real-life opera couple Roberto Alagna and Angela Gheorghiu.

The noted commentator and broadcaster Norman Lebrecht is in no doubt that the recording industry is in crisis, with the major labels behaving as if they wish to withdraw from classical music altogether.

Even EMI, credited with maintaining the best balance between serious and lighter music among the big four, is producing only 35 fresh classical recordings a year where it once issued 120.

"There has been a huge reduction at EMI with the appalling exception of Vanessa Mae," he said. "Sony Classical is in my view anything but classical. Most of its output is movie tracks."

He believes it unlikely that the Bertelsmann group, which took over the RCA empire, will make any fresh recordings in future.

According to Lebrecht, who predicts the decline of classical recording in his book When the Music Stops, large companies want recordings to sell 50,000 copies in the first three or four years. The break-even point is probably 30,000. Yet in the crucial first year some symphonic works are now struggling to reach sales of 1,000 in the American market.

The lust for quick cash is not the only pressure on the corporate owners. Although they are reluctant to release sales figures, there is no doubt that the market is much smaller than 10 years ago.

James Jolly, editor of the influential Gramophone magazine, said: "A lot of people have looked at their collection and said, 'I have 3,000 CDs already, I'm not sure I have enough hours left to actually listen to them'."

"During the Eighties a lot of big companies went overboard recording standard repertoire with performances that were mediocre-to-good, but really had no new light to shine on the music. That sort of profligacy needed some sort of reaction."

Unfortunately for the record producers, CDs do not degrade as fast as vinyl.

Then there is the huge success of the cut-price Naxos label which, featuring little-known performers, has stormed the market with £5 renderings of popular classics. Naxos accounts for 20 per cent of classical sales in Britain and 10 per cent in America, the world's biggest market.

The precise terms of Gardiner's parting with Deutsche Grammophon are unclear. Neither conductor nor record company would talk last week. But a friend of the conductor said: "The non-renewal of the contract will have been handed down from on high, just to reduce the level of commitment within the classical divisions the company. John Eliot Gardiner has been a victim of it."

At the same time the decision was almost certainly affected by DG's last-minute decision not to issue CDs of all 200 cantatas on the conductor's year-long tour (it is producing 12 discs instead of 60), and Gardiner's angry response.

Whoever is to blame, the result is a drastic reduction in recording opportunities, for Gardiner's Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra and for most other serious classical performers. "Now if we want a recording to exist we have to finance it ourselves," said Gerry Isherwood of the Monteverdi players.

Peter Alward, senior vice president of Artists and Recordings at EMI, said: "Yes, there's been pressure throughout the industry in recent years to achieve volume in sales, mostly achieved on a short-term basis. But unless the catalogue is fed with fresh music, it will die."

Increasingly the big companies are re-issuing recordings from their back catalogue at little cost apart from the repackaging. EMI recently re-released music by Maria Callas to coincide with the auction of her belongings in Paris, for example.

Ted Perry, director of the independent Hyperion, said: "My belief is that the real classical record market is very small. "How many people go into a record shop and ask for a Schubert B-flat piano trio - which we recorded today. How many classical record shops are there in the world? Not many."

And according to Lebrecht, it is getting smaller. "This is not simply a case of over production by the record companies, it's a shift in taste. There's a genuine feeling in society that classical music is marginal. You can count on the fingers of one hand the classical discs that have gone into six figures in the past decade. We're facing up to a world without classical recording."

Meanwhile even well established stars such as soprano Emma Kirkby have been obliged to work with smaller niche labels like Hyperion if they wish to record. For years she was associated with Decca which like DG is owned by Universal. But now, she says, the major companies are only interested in releasing compilations of her old recordings. She was not even informed when Decca produced its latest offering, The Silver Sound of Emma Kirkby in time for Christmas. "As far as Decca is concerned," she says, "it's almost as if I'm dead." "

Matthew Westphal wrote (December 19, 2000):
Charles Francis wrote:
< I first heard John Eliot Gardiner in concert some 15 years ago and he delivered some othe most wonderful Mozart I've ever heard. While his rendering of early music such as Buxtehude's Membra Jesu Nostri is often brilliant, I do feel he's not at his best with Bach. I'm not sure he merits the title "Mr Bach", but notwithstanding, here's an article from the yesterday's Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/enjoyment/Music/features/2000-12/gardiner171200.shtml
"Record company dumps Britain's Mr Bach" [snip article] >

I'm surprised this stayed secret for this long. The split had been finalized by the beginning of this year - and yes, it came directly out of the dispute over whether or not DG would record and distribute every single concert program in the Cantata Pilgrimage.

It does make sense, though, that neither DG nor JEG would want this to become public until the end of the pilgrimage and the arrival in stores of all the discs DG did plan to release.

I can't say I blame DG. Not only were the commercial prospects for a complete JEG Cantatas set very dicey indeed, given that two HIP series (Koopman and Suzuki) are already well under way and that both the old Harnoncourt/Leonhardt set and the non-HIP Rilling set were being heavily marketed for this year - but also

a) given the performance schedule, the artistic results were sure to be spotty (as has been the case, according to the various reports I've heard - some performances wonderful, others very sloppy indeed); and

b) funding just to finish the series of concerts wasn't even in place until well into the second half of 2000.

It took until August or September, I believe, for them to find a New York City venue willing to host the final concerts. (Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall were among a number of presenters that turned them down.)

By the way, DG's decision wasn't last-minute (as the article claims). They never made a firm promise to JEG about this; JEG made an assumption.

Speaking of those New York City performances, the Independent's correspondent wrote:
< So when, on New Year's Eve, he mounts the conductor's rostrum before a packed New York audience, >
Packed? I'll believe that when I see it. As I said, no major NYC presenter was willing to take these concerts (which means the publicity machines and subscriber lists of Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall aren't behind them). New Year's Eve might sell a good number of tickets (if people haven't already made other plans), but the first concert is scheduled for 5 PM on Christmas Day. (!?!) Maybe people will show up - many people go to the cinema on Christmas evening - but with tickets priced at US $30 - $150 and the concert evidently being presented by a wealthy Episcopal parish church on Park Avenue, I wouldn't be too optimistic.

By the way, the Independent's correspondent also wrote
< Gardiner's recordings of the great composer [Bach] dominate the classical shelves of record shops and department stores. >
Not here they don't.

[the Independent] < Together they have revolutionised performances of baroque music, introducing up-tempo recordings with small groups in place of the massive and often lugubrious interpretations which held sway for most of the last century. >
He makes it sound like JEG and DG did this all by themselves. (Feel free to compile your own list of other pioneering HIP musicians.)

This is too bad - I have liked what I've read of the Independent's critics and I expected better from them than this.

Don't feel too bad for JEG, by the way. Word is he got quite a nice severance payment.

Michael Grover wrote (December 20, 2000):
I can't imagine that Mr. Gardiner will remain contract-less for long. His is one of the most recognizable names in conducting today. The recordings I have of his, including the St. Matthew Passion and Brahms's Ein Deutsche Requiem, are on the short list of my "desert island" CD's.

Incidentally, being rather new to the mailing list group, would someone please forgive my ignorance and tell me what the letters HIP stand for? I think, in reading the postings, I have figured out that it refers to "period" or "authentic" performances, a la Hogwood, Gardiner, and Koopman, but I have racked my brains and have not been able to figure out the acronym.

Cory Hall wrote (December 20, 2000):
(To Michael Grover) HIP = "historically informed performance"

Galina Kolomietz wrote (December 20, 2000):
Michael Grover wrote:
< Incidentally, being rather new to the mailing list group, would someone please forgive my ignorance and tell me what the letters HIP stand for? >
*** Don't worry about asking. We've gotten better about spelling out acronyms, but sometimes the really common ones are still used without an explanation. "HIP" stands for "historically informed performance."

 

WKCR JEG Interview

Charles Francis wrote (December 24, 2000):
For those following the "Bach Fest" at www.wkcr.org and anticipating a John Elliot Gardiner interview today, I've been told it will actually be broadcast on Tuesday 26 at 16:00 New York time. Later in the day there will be an interview with George Stauffer, author of "Bach the Mass in B-minor: The Great Catholic Mass", and on Thursday an interview with Andrew Parrott author of "The Essential Bach Choir" arguing the case for One Voice Per Part.

Yöel L. Arbeitman wrote (December 24, 2000):
(To Charles Francis) Earlier today one of their student announcers spoke of the JEG "Pilgramage Cantata" series as being a complete set or going to be complete. Is this not the set which has just been cancelled, as a kind poster informed us here in the Independent article re "Mr. Bach"? Thanks for the info. re these alluring interviews to come on Tues.

The Holiday for me has been for 8 years now the BachFest itself.

Matthew Westphal wrote (December 25, 2000):
Yöel L. Arbeitman wrote:
< Earlier today one of their student announcers spoke of the JEG "Pilgramage Cantata" series as being a complete set or going to be complete. Is this not the set which has just been cancelled, as a kind poster informed us here in the Independent article re "Mr. Bach"? >
Oh, the set of Bach cantata discs on DG wasn't just cancelled. DG announced about 18 months ago that its Bach Cantata series for the year 2000 was going to be 12 discs only, with most of the material recorded in the studio recorded before Gardiner's "Pilgrimage" began (and with material on three of the discs having been recorded some years earlier). 10 of those discs have already been issued; I don't know the release dates for the other two.

What was "just cancelled" (as discussed in that article from The Independent) was Gardiner's entire recording contract with DG. (In fact, that was cancelled before the end of 1999 as well; both parties did a very good job of keeping it secret.)

Gardiner did have recordings made of all the concerts in this year's Cantata Pilgrimage series; I understand that he and his organization are going to issue these recordings on CD themselves. I don't know any details, but I would guess that they'll be sold on some sort of subscription basis.

Matthew Westphal wrote (December 25, 2000):
(To Charles Francis) Thanks very much for letting us know about this, Charles. Any idea what time on Thursday the Parrott interview is to be?

Charles Francis wrote (December 26, 2000):
(To Matthew Westphal)
26.12
Gardiner 4:00 PM
Stauffer 7:30 PM
Topp? 9:00 PM
28:12
Parrott 9:00 AM
New York Time

Armagan Ekici wrote (December 26, 2000):
Matthew Westphal wrote:
< Gardiner did have recordings made of all the concerts in this year's Cantata Pilgrimage series; I understand that he and his organization are going to issue these recordings on CD themselves. I don't know any details, but I would guess that they'll be sold on some sort of subscription basis. >
Hi all -- first of all happy holidays (around 2000 the holidays of the three middle eastern religions are coinciding).

I read recently in an interview with JEG (it could be the BBC Music Magazine) that JEG and his record producer wife are managing the recordings personally and they have reached an agreement with the musiciansto release the recordings on a non-profit basis for use in music schools.

Looking back now, the logistics of the whole effort is frightening. In one of the later DG releases there is only one musician in common between two sessions a couple of months apart.

Charles Francis wrote (December 27, 2000):
Please note, the WKCR "Bach Fest" interviews have been rescheduled with Gardiner and Parrott switched around. The current schedule is:

Parrot 5:30 PM (immanent!)
Stauffer 7:30 PM

Thursday: Gardiner 11:00 AM
(local time New York)

Yöel L. Arbeitman wrote (December 27, 2000):
(To Charles Francis) Yes, Parrott is on now. Alas one can barely hear the interviewer, but happily one can hear Parrot on the phone clear and loud. I am local time, but not in radio distance.

 

Continue on Part 6

John Eliot Gardiner: Short Biography | Monteverdi Choir | English Baroque Soloists
Recordings of Vocal Works:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Videos | Recordings of Instrumental Works
General Discussions:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Newsletters
Cantatas:
Cantatas BWV 106, 118b, 198 | Cantatas BWV 140, 147 | Cantatas BWV 11, 37, 43, 128 | Cantatas BWV 6, 66 | Cantatas BWV 72, 73, 111, 156 | Cantatas BWV 82, 83, 125, 200
Bach Cantata Pilgrimage:
BCP - Vols 1&8 | BCP - Vol. 6 | BCP - Vol. 9 | BCP - Vol. 13 | BCP - Vol. 14 | BCP - Vol. 15 | BCP - Vol. 21 | BCP - Vol. 22 | BCP - Vol. 23 | BCP - Vol. 24 | BCP - Vol. 26 | Bach Cantata Pilgrimage DVD | DVD John Eliot Gardiner in Rehearsal
Other Vocal Works:
BWV 232 - J.E. Gardiner | BWV 244 - J.E. Gardiner | BWV 245 - J.E. Gardiner | BWV 248 - J.E. Gardiner | BWV 1127 - J.E. Gardiner
Table of recordings by BWV Number

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Last update: ıMay 31, 2010 ı01:13:03