Monica Huggett & Ensemble Sonnerie
Another Bargain from Virgin
Armagan Ekici wrote (January 14, 2000):
Nancy Argenta's two cantatas CD's with Ensemble Sonnerie are also available as a budget double from Virgin nowadays. It includes among others the soprano version of BWV 82, "Jauchzet Gott", the Italian cantata etc. Highly recommended especially at that price (NLG 30 in Holland).
Cantatas by the Ensemble Sonnerie
Peter Bright wrote (March 1, 2000):
Just wondering if anyone has heard the Virgin Veritas (X2) recording of cantatas BWV 51, BWV 82a, BWV 84, BWV 199, BWV 202, BWV 209 by Ensemble Sonnerie with Nancy Argenta, under the direction of Monica Huggett (recorded 1993). The price is excellent for this budget edition (about 10 UK pounds for 2 discs) but does not include the texts. Does the quality of the performances stand up well against the Suzuki, Koopman, Rilling etc. efforts?
Simon Crouch wrote (March 1, 2000):
I've got the disc with BWV 84, 202 and 209 on (the new Veritas is a compilation of this and another disc) and I've heard BWV 82a on the radio, so I can comment on most of it! As far as BWV 82a is concerned, there's not a lot of competition (this is the version of Ich habe Genug that Bach wrote for Soprano voice) and it's sung well, but (taking nothing away from the performance). I must admit to preferring the lower voiced settings of the BWV 82 version. BWV 84, 202 and 209 are done very well and at this price are very competitive. You get more well with Rilling (and slower performances) and more subtlety with Huggett.
Ekici Armagan wrote (March 1, 2000):
I have only one of the CD's (the one with BWV 82a) and it is absolutely first rate, the other one had quite good reviews too. Shame about the lack of documentation...
Peter Bright wrote (March 2, 2000):
Thanks for the comments. I picked them up yesterday and must agree. They are quite wonderful performances (nicely recorded too).
A wonderful Argenta recording
Harry J. Steinman wrote (May 29, 2000):
I found a 2 CD recording of cantatas for soprano featuring Nancy Argenta and the Ensemble Sonnerie conducted by Monica Huggett (Virgin Veritas 7243 5 61644) and I'm pretty excited by the recording. Ms. Argenta's voice is light, clear, full, pleasant, and above all, nimble...acrobatic even. It is a joy to listen to her every note. The recording, which I found at the HB Site (www.hbdirect.com), was a real bargain (US $11). It includes BWV 51, BWV 82a, 84, BWV 199, 202 (the Wedding cantata) and 209.
First impressions: the interplay of solo instruments, particularly the oboe in BWV 84, BWV 199 and 202 is especially captivating. Paul Goodwin's oboe is light, delicate and a perfect match to Argenta's ethereal voice. BWV 51 features Huggett and Sirkka-Liisa Kaakinen as violin soloists with Crispian Steele-Perkins on trumpet. And flutist Lisa Beznosiuk is featured on BWV 82a and 209.
Only bummer about the recording is that the booklet is woefully skimpy: It provides a tuning reference (A = 415), a very few notes about the cantatas but the librettos are not supplied. Still, I think the recording is worth owning; it is certainly affordable. Beyond that, I played these discs over and over yesterday and by evening, I wasn't tired of listening to Argenta's voice (though I fear that those around me may have!).
Johan van Veen wrote (May 31, 2000):
(To Harry J. Steinman) You are absolutely right. It is one of the best recordings of Bach's cantatas for soprano solo, and also one of the best Nancy Argenta has made. This 2-CD set is part of a whole series of excellent recordings for a bargain price. This is certainly one of the best in the series.
Monica Huggett Short Biography | Ensemble Sonnerie | Recordings & General Discussions | General Discussions