Vivaldi: Gloria & JS Bach: Mass in G major
The Sixteen, Harry Christophers
The real attraction of this release is one of Vivaldi’s most uplifting choral works. Gloria in D major, RV589 is a joyful hymn of praise with moments ranging from festive brilliance to profound sadness. On this recent Coro release it is aptly paired with J S Bach’s Mass in G major, BWV236. Neither of these are new recordings but pieces from the past; the Gloria in D major, RV589 having been recorded at St. John’s, Smith Square as long ago as 1991 and the Mass in G major, BWV236 recorded more recently in St Augustine’s Church, Kilburn, London between 20th & 24th May 2013. We also get two extracts from Handel’s from Handel’s Esther, HWV 50.
Considering this was recorded in three different venues by two different recording engineers the sound is remarkably consistent. The results from The Sixteen (or eight in the case of the Bach piece) is somewhat mixed; the Mass being the best performed. I can see this CD being purchased by concert-goers as a memento of the occasion¹ and they will not be disappointed; but for anyone else, at the asking price, it cannot be a serious recommendation. Try Alessandrini for the Gloria or Raphaël Pichon for the Mass in G.
¹ This programme has recently been performed on the Sixteen’s Vivaldi Gloria Tour 2018 with the addition of Vivaldi’s Sinfonia from La Dorilla RV 709.