Bonn, 9 October 2016
Bachtrack.de – 4* review written by Jens Klier
“The chorale ["Alles was Odem hat "] was superbly intonate, energetic, persuasive, dynamic and sophisticated in expression, as only the Monteverdi Choir can achieve.”
“With heightened anticipation the voices of the choir - matching the orchestra in compact force - frantically and skilfully illustrated the effervescent, joyful fury that subsided from the dynamic and contrasting articulation and speaks for Beethoven’s revolutionary extremity.”
General Anzeiger – review written by Bernhard Hartmann
“Comparatively rarely heard is Beethoven's setting of the Goethe poems 'Meeresstille' and 'Glückliche Fahrt' for choir and orchestra. From the first chord, the Gardiner-founded Monteverdi Choir demonstrated its exceptional talents. Singing 'Keine Luft von keiner Seit' in a quiet, timid manner, their articulate silences make the distress seem almost physically palpable."
“The choir numbers of symphony-cantata were simply sung superb.”
Deutsche Welle – review written by Rick Fuller
“Conductor John Eliot Gardiner, the Monteverdi Choir, the London Symphony Orchestra and three superb vocal soloists (sopranos Ludy Crowe and Jurgita Adamonyté and tenor Patrick Grahl) achieved a perfect blend of musical textures from quiet to fortissimo in the Beethoven Hall, and were rewarded by long standing ovations.”
Essen, 10 October 2016
Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung – review
“In the Beethoven cantata the brilliant choir showcased its strengths, combining all the virtues of the great English choral tradition: noble tone balance and polished sound alongside perfect articulation.”
Halterner Zeitung – review written by Klaus Stübler
“The forty-voice strong Monteverdi Choir delivered a delightful interpretation of both poems by Goethe, managing an impressive contrast of the most tender pianissimo with sonorous sound, and all with perfect German pronunciation.
In Mendelssohn`s "Lobgesang", considered to be his second symphony and also a great spiritual work, the choir - originally founded by Gardiner - was again the main attraction: inspired and compelling in the chorale, vociferous jubilation in praise of God.”
London, 16 & 20 October 2016
Sunday Times, by Paul Driver
"Rarely performed music from Germany tells the history of a country”
"brilliant Monteverdi Choir"
The Arts Desk - 10 questions to conductor John Eliot Gardiner
"Mendelssohn and Monteverdi still challenge a musical explorer"
Classical Source - review written by Peter Reed
"You might think that the ‘Nun danket alle Gott’ chorale would round things off, but that would deny us a bracing fugal sign-off from the Monteverdi Choir at its agile best. Gardiner and his forces performed with enormous conviction and swagger, delivering old certainties of sacred and secular pride in a way to make your eyes prick."
Düsseldorf, 23 October 2016
Rheinische Post review, Norbert Laufer
"It was a brilliant performance.”
"[...] Gardiner and the Choir always put on a steely front. The delicate side of the sound spectrum didn't fall short either, especially where Mendelssohn's melodies were shaped in such a way that their blissfulness became palpable.”
"an uplifting evening"
Westdeutsche Zeitung review, Lars Wallerang
"The brilliant London Symphony Orchestra and the excellent Monteverdi Choir, under the direction of a detail-oriented worker such as Sir Gardiner, formed technically and musically speaking a highly competent team in performing this sacred music of Romantic character in the Tonhalle."
Mannheim, 24 October 2016
Mannheimer Morgen review, Hans-Günter Fischer
"In Mannheim about 50 singers appear in the first half, in Beethoven's 'Meeresstille' and 'glückliche Fahrt'. With impeccable articulation, even in the soft twilight of the motionless water, and, of course, perfectly flawless German, as may be expected from the choir, which has been globally acknowledged for its 'Pilgrimage' of all Bach's spiritual cantatas."
Pisa, 18 September 2016
“The performance of Gardiner immediately grabbed the audience' attention by an exceptional attention to every detail, every precious element in the score, emphasizing on grace and delicacy. Above all and with much intelligence, the conductor chose to eliminate any tinsel of grandeur and bombast to bring across the pathos of Bach’s text.”
Corriere Fiorentino – review Francesco Ermini Polacci
“Only a single gesture is needed from Gardiner for his incredible forces of the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists and the impeccable boys of the ‘Trinity Choir’ to deliver the necessary drama.”
“This has become the most fluid, fresh and moving live performance of the St. Matthew Passion we have ever heard.”
Usher Hall, Edinburgh, 13 August 2016
EdinburghGuide.com review, Barbara Bryan: ★★★★★
"[John Eliot Gardiner] is an absolute authority on J S Bach and this was
a unique performance in many ways."
Read the full review on Edinburghguide.comThe Herald Scotland review, Keith Bruce: ★★★★
"Tenor James Gilchrist may well be the Evangelist of our era..."
"With all the singers, and some of the instrumental soloists, performing from memory, it was a mighty feat..."
The Scotsman review, Susan Nickalls: ★★★★
"The Monteverdi Choir, augmented by the excellent National Youth Choir of Scotland
National Girls Choir who bookended Part I, provided a rich, fulsome choral sound."
Read the full review on the Scotsman website
“The instrumentalists play eloquently and with soul… the breath-taking oboe soloists... the clear and beautiful singing of the soloists from the choir” - Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Braunschweig | Leipzig | Aldeburgh
Braunschweig: Kaiserdom Königslutter, 15 June 2016
Braunschweig Zeitung, Andreas Berger
"Eindrucksvoll gerieten besonders die chorale, fur die der Monteverdi Choir auch die Solisten der Arien und Handelnden des Passionsgeschehens integriert und so zu einem fülligen Gesamtklang anwächst, der dank der präzisen Stimmen trozdem klar und durchsichtig bleibt. Ein Phänomen."
Trans: “The hymns were especially impressive, as the Monteverdi Choir integrates the soloists for the arias and actors in the Passion events and so increases to a robust overall sound that nevertheless remains clear and transparent thanks to the precision of the vocals. A phenomenon.”
"Spannend an Gardiners Dirigat is der Fabenreichtum. Wenn etwa Christus seine Jünger im Garten Gethsemane anspricht, da breitet Gardiner in den Streichern einen samtigen Teppich der liebe aus."
Trans: “What is enthralling about Gardiner’s conducting is the richness of colour. When Christ is addressing his disciples in the garden of Gethsemane, Gardiner spreads out a velvety carpet of love with the strings.”
Leipzig: Thomaskirche, 16 June 2016
Leipziger Volks Zeitung, Werner Kopfmüller
"[Gardiner] immer Herr des Geschehens...Mit dem ganzen Körper wiegt er sich auf und ab, zeichnet mit den Händen sorgsam-ge-schmeidig die Linie einer jeden stimme nach. Mal bündelt er den klang zu größter Dichte, dann fächert er ihn wieder sanft auf."
Trans: “[Gardiner] is always master of the event… with his whole body, he sways up and down, his hands carefully and smoothly trace the line of each voice. Now he bundles the sound to maximum density, then he gently fans it back.”
"Dass im übrigen sowohl der Monteverdi Choir als auch alle Solisten komplett auswendig singen, ist keine Selbstverständlichkeit, für Sir John Eliot jedoch Voraussetzung, um die Dramatik, dir sich in der Musik Bachs konzentriert, möglichst wirkungsvoll zur Geltung zu bringen."
Trans: “That both the Monteverdi Choir and all the soloists sang entirely from memory should not be taken for granted, for Sir John Eliot it is a prerequisite to the drama, which focuses on Bach's music to realise it most effectively.”