Mass in B minor BWV 232
Conducted by Diego Fasolis
Scholl/Herreweghe & B Minor Mass/St. John's Passion/ Christmas OratorioSam Frederick wrote (May 1, 1999):
Has anyone heard the CD of Andreas Scholl singing BWV 35, BWV 54 and BWV 170? Comments?
Also, any recommendations for a terrific (perfect?) recording of the B Minor Mass?
Roberto wrote (May 4, 1999):
[To Sam Frederick] One of the best recordings of the B minor mass (BWV 232) is, in mho, the Diego Fasolis one, performed by Sonatori de la gioiosa marca, Coro della radio svizzera, published by Arts (very cheap!!!). The soloists are Roberta Invernizzi, Lynne Dawson, Gloria Banditelli, Christophe Prégardien and Klaus Mertens. It's a live recording (Lugano, 1997). Listen, for example, to the Crucifixus! It's really marvelous.
I loved very much also the Peter Schereir's first recording (Eterna, ex-DDR, I don't remember the year but it was in the eighties). Always about Fasolis: in these days I'm listening to his recording of St. John's Passion (BWV 245) and I'm comparing it with Suzuki (may be the best overall). The opening choir of Fasolis recording is superb! Never heard the same rhytmic impact. The rest is not as good as the B mass but it is anyway a very beautiful version.
(Ensemble Vanitas, Coro della radio svizzera, soloists: Roberta Invernizzi, Claudia Schubert, Jeremy Ovenden, Klaus Mertens, Nico van der Meel, live recording published by Arts at low price).
A question about Suzuki's Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248): when has it been released? Is it better than the wonderful Herreweghe's version? Suzuki's cantatas are so marvelous that the answer could be "yes"!
Fasolis v. Herreweghe and the B Minor MassHarry J. Steinman wrote (July 28, 2000):
Hi everybody! A few days ago I commented that I'd just gotten Diego Fasolis' recording of the Minor Mass (Arts ARZ-47525) and expressed how much I'd enjoyed his Magnificat/BWV 21/Motet BWV 225 (Arts ARZ-47374) even compared to Herreweghe.
Well, I have a brand-new stereo (Yippee!) and I sat down with Fasolis and Herreweghe for a "Battle of the Bands" and I gotta tell you: This one is tough! But overall, I believe that I enjoy the Fasolis more! They are both about the same tempo and I'm happy with both sets of soloists. But I believe that the singers in the Fasolis stable sound more involved (to my uneducated ears) and I hear the instrumentation a bit more clearly. I also think that overall, Fasolis recording has more "presence".
I may write more, singer v. singer; aria and chorus v. aria and chorus. What a happy dilemma: Trying to figure out which one I like more!
Anyway, if you like the Motets, the Magnificat, the B Minor Mass or BWV 21, you owe it to yourself to acquire some of Fasolis' excellent work.
Well, I gotta go back to work. Sigh.
Fasolis Mass in B minor
Alvin Stravinsky wrote (September 3, 2001):
So the Sonatori (and the Italians) have finally gotten around to recording Bach. But the singers I notice (at least the ones mentioned) are all notherners, seasoned Bach or Baroque singers all. Are there no Italian singers who do Bach? What choir does Fasolis use by the way? Is it his regular Italian radio choir?
Unlike Cor, I'll be buying this disc not for Prégardien who is a great singer but for Fasolis and the Sonatori. If the Sonatori's Vivaldi is anything to go by, this is one interesting recording.
Cor Mertens wrote (September 3, 2001):
[To Alvin Stravinsky] The other singers (which I didn't mention) in the Fasolis recording of BWV 232 are unknown to me, but I take it they are Italian: Roberta Invernizzi and Gloria Banditelli. The choir is the Coro della Radio Svizzera, Lugano (is that his radio choir?). I must admit I had never heard of Fasolis before I bought this recording, but I'd be interested to listen to what you refer to as his Vivaldi. What has he recorded & can you give me the references?
Riccardo Nughes wrote (September 4, 2001):
[To Cor Mertens] Aactually Fasolis recorded just a Vivaldi Cd featuring the famous Gloria,
Magnificat & Nisi Dominus. Alvin is referring to the great recordings that "I Sonatori della Gioiosa Marca" dedicated to the Red Priest
There is also another great cd on the Divox label.
Bradley Lehman wrote (September 4, 2001):
[To Riccardo Nughes] Yes, I too have been enjoying the lively series of Vivaldi concertos on Divox: Carmignola on violin with the Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca. They play with such flair and fresh imagination! I treat myself to some of those every time I go to the Allegro web site (that's the easiest way to get them in the US, sometimes as low as $6.00 from their CyberMusicSurplus side). That site has lots of online samples, too.
Another excellent disc of the Vivaldi Gloria (the familiar one, 589; there are two) is by Concerto Italiano and Rinaldi Alessandrini. What verve!
Thanks to all who have recommended the Fasolis B minor mass. I've had it on my "probably" list for a few months but haven't bought it yet; it's nice to know it's as good as I've been hoping it is.
Note: if you're clipping Amazon URLs to forward them to anyone, it is best to cut off everything beginning with "qid=" to the right. The product is identified by the section immediately after the "ASIN" and that is all that is necessary. Everything from "qid=" onward is about your particular web session, which you probably don't want other people to get into.
Alvin Stravinsky wrote (September 4, 2001):
As far as I know, Fasolis hasn't recorded any Vivaldi (but you could check Tactus and Arts). Sonatori previously (still does?) recorded for Divox, all excellently engineered discs. The Vivaldi (Four Seasons) received very good reviews in English and Continental publications. I thought they were going to record for Naxos but have not seen any except for one where they were in a supporting role (the disc is Banchieri, Il Zabaione Musicale, a very entertaining recording).
(Just read Riccardo's post before hitting the send button. Apparently Fasolis has recorded Vivaldi. Have to check this out.)
You can hear Banditelli and Invernizzi cheaply in many Naxos recordings. I think I have heard one or the other live and what struck me was her group's very theatrical style of singing which is I think typical of Italians in this repertoire. Although I haven't heard the Mass, I think this passionate and theatrical approach to Bach is going to be very interesting, as close to operatic Bach we can get?
Fasolis' choir I would rank on the same level as the Netherlands Radio Choir or the Arnold Schoenberg. I'm impressed with the work that Fasolis has been doing for Naxos. Although I haven't heard them, I hear that the Cherubini and Gossec are very good.
Laurent Planchon wrote (September 4, 2001):
< Brad Lehman wrote: Thanks to all who have recommended the Fasolis B minor mass. I've had it on my "probably" list for a few months but haven't bought it yet; it's nice tknow it's as good as I've been hoping it is. >
Since Fasolis and co seem to be the hot topic of the day, let me just add a few cents to this thread:
- Regarding the Mass, the major complaints I have read in almost every review of it I found were the soloists, and I have even seen an interview of Fasolis somewhere in which he said that he had barely a few hours to repeat with them before the concert (IIRC correctly this is a live recording). But apart from that (and I personally don't think they are so bad) the rest is pretty amazing. Listen to the cruxifucus for instance.
- F. has also recorded some choral works by Durante with Il Sonatori (label is Arts as well), and Buxtehude's Membra Jesu Nostri with the same on Naxos (hence Il Sonatori have recorded at least two times for that label).
- There is also a St John passion (BWV 245) out there (Arts again) but this time F. uses a larger group called 'Vanitas' (Il Sonatori are usually OPPP) which apparently includes a lot of Il Giardino Armonico regular players. I guess Italy is no different than anywhere else. You make 10 different baroque
ensembles out of the same 20 players (actually this is always part of the fun for me when I get a new recording. I just look at the list of players and then compare with other groups in my collection).
- Finally there is also a Händel dixit domimus which got very good reviews when it was released. I have not heard it yet though and can't comment on it.
Philip Peters wrote (September 4, 2001):
[To Laurent Planchon] In 1995 Fasolis recorded the SMP (BWV 244) in the Mendelssohn version. It´s quite good and interesting to compare with the Spering rendition. It is OOP and has always been rare as it was only issued together with an Italian music magazine if I was informed correctly.
Alvin Stravinsky wrote (September 4, 2001):
[To Cor Mertens] Since you have heard or own the Fasolis SMP (BWV 244), I'm curious as to how big a group Il Sonatori is in that recording. On the Naxos recording, they could not have been more than 8 and in the Decca recording with Cecilia Bartoli they were only less than that number and if I remember the Vivaldi correctly (I don't have the cd with me) Il Sonatori was only around 6 members. So this SMP has a very small orchestra, no bigger than a continuo group. If my guess is correct, I'd like to know from the group if there are other SMP recording that employ a similar sized or smaller group?
Piotr Jaworski wrote (September 4, 2001):
[To Alvin Stravinsky] Not that bad at all!!!, means: not so few. Have a look on the Sonatori own web site - wher you can find all necessary details on their all recordings.
In the famous "Fasolis B minor Mass" Sonatoris were represented by:
and timpani. Altogether 23 players, if I'm correct.
Anyway, performing this Mass with an ensemble of 8 players, would be slightly difficult ;-)
Cor Mertens wrote (September 4, 2001):
[To Alvin Stravinsky] Piotr is correct about the number of players on Fasolis' B minor mass: there are 23 players. I was not, however, talking about the SMP, which I have never heard under Fasolis.
Thanks for your info on other Fasolis recordings, which I will check out.
Philip Peters wrote (September 5, 2001):
[To Alvin Stravinsky] That was me actually. The SMP was not recorded with the Sonatori but with the Radio Orchestra of Italian-speaking Switzerland. And it is the Mendelssohn version!
Diego Fasolis: Short Biography | Coro della Radio Svizzera | I Barocchisti | Ensemble Vanitas
Recordings: Part 1 | Part 2 | General Discussions
Individual Recordings: Motets - Fasolis | BWV 232 - Fasolis | BWV 244 - Fasolis | BWV 245 - Fasolis