Product Description & Reviews
Conductor Robert Shaw's death three months after this recording was made brought to an unexpected close a rare and distinguished career that always was dominated by Shaw's activities as a choral conductor. As with Leonard Bernstein's final recording--a live concert performance at Tanglewood--there is a sense of determination and drive and assuredness in this Dvorák performance that can come only from a lifetime of experience, of being involved, of being constantly in the midst of the action. Shaw's even-handed manner throughout--no extremes of tempo or dynamics, none of the quirky phrasing conductors sometimes exhibit late in their careers--owes much to the fact that he gave long consideration to this piece, and knew exactly what he wanted. Not surprisingly, Telarc's recording sets the balance in favor of the chorus, and Shaw has no problem letting the singers really sing out, especially in the frequent climaxes. Consonants tend toward the hard side, vowels are open: this is a true American chorus, the very concept of which Shaw spent a lifetime refining and nurturing. This Stabat Mater is a very big piece, and it can be quite unwieldy because nearly all of its 10 movements require different combinations of performing forces, from chorus alone to solo quartet to different soloists with chorus. Shaw makes sure that everything moves and flows, and the Telarc engineers capture every quiet ripple and surging crescendo. Sometimes the placement of soloists seems too close, and occasionally, Shaw's beat is just too deliberate for text and music--especially in the delicate opening movement choral passages. But together, these soloists are the best on disc, and Shaw's orchestra gives him everything a conductor could ask. All concerned have much to be proud of here--a first rate production about which Shaw must still be smiling. --David Vernier
Features & Highlights
|Item Weight:||0.25 pounds|
|Item Size:||5.59 x 0.47 x 0.47 inches|
|Package Weight:||0.18 pounds|
|Package Size:||4.97 x 0.54 x 0.54 inches|
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