Anandgyan wrote (April 9, 2010):
I would to share my first impressions after coming across the SMP from Riccardo Chailly and the Gewandhausorchester that was already on the record store shelf in my hometown.
The only big name I knew, besides Thomas Quasthoff, was the choir director Georg Christoph Billier, for I have his recording of the XO while I own none of Chailly.
I have had just one quick listen and here's the first thing that came up:
"This is a Matthaus-Passion for figure skating."
It works. I tried to pinpoint why I wasn't displeased and surprised to be so with all those modern instruments. hehehe. Though I could characterise it by being old-fashioned, I'd rather put it, in my naive way, just not-in-the-new fashion, albeit it does a bit without the solemnity and whizzes by it's like from the "old mold"...
Only with Harnoncourt III and McCreesh did an introduction to this oeuvre had such verve and those are stamped correctly HIP and OVPP respectively while this is not.
This is splendid music, kinda springily coming at you, without the usual gravitas that slow speeds entice, hence my remark about the figure skating. It is grand and it can lift you up. Hehehe
If it seems to be unfolding quickly to my amateur ears, it's because it fits on two CDs only. hehehe again.
I must concede the absence of idiosyncrasies, that sometimes have marred recordings too much in search of a personal stamp, makes of this recent release not so much a bland recording, as a middle-of-the-road one, kind of,
where hardly no big risks are taken if not looking hurried and fit for the 21st century.
I do remain a Bach beginner, just slightly older, which may explain that fast pacing impression on me, and I would not be surprised if this recent release gets good reviews all around.
I'd venture to add that it is a recording akin to the SMP from Müller-Brühl albeit with more weight, and strangely to the Koussevitzky that I was lucky enough to find for a mere $6 CDN though with all the benefit of modern technology and tremendously talented performers.
That's it. In the end, we come full circle again.