Concert Reviews
Bachfest Celebrates Monteverdi Choir’s 50th Anniversary

PRINCETON, N.J. — If ever there was a composer to be celebrated on Father’s Day, it is Bach. Of his 20 children, 10 died in infancy or early childhood, but that still left his hands full. And though inhumanly busy with composition, performance and teaching, he took an active hand in the children’s upbringing and education.

Given his volatile temperament, his ministrations were probably not always pretty, but they were evidently effective. Four of his boys (of course) went on to achieve fame as composers themselves.

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50 years ago - how John Eliot Gardiner changed music, The Guardian
by Tom Service 5 March 2014

50 years ago to the day, a 20 year-old history, Arabic and medieval Spanish student at King's College, Cambridge, lit a rocket under the musical establishment, and he's spent the last half-century continuing to shock and awe, agitate and enlighten, entertain and energise audiences and performers all over the world - but mostly, and most importantly, in the UK ever since.

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These Vespers have real vroom, The Times
by Richard Morrison 7 March 2014
*****

Gardiner's 1964 performance was a double revelation: of Monteverdi's genius, forgotten for centuries, and the nascent talent of the ambitious student who would go on to shape our entire understanding of Baroque music. This golden jubilee confirmed that at 70 he still towers over the scene.

 
Monteverdi Choir 50th anniversary concert, The Financial Times
The Financial Times, by Andrew Clark 6 March 2014
*****

It began with the celebrant walking up the aisle alone and in silence – the man who, 50 years ago, shook the frame of western music and declared Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers to be a masterpiece. So began the gospel according to Sir John – today’s world-renowned septuagenarian conductor-scholar John Eliot Gardiner, who, back in 1964, was just a King’s College undergraduate with a bee in his bonnet. To achieve his goal of breathing life into Vespers, Gardiner founded the Monteverdi Choir – and the rest is indeed history.
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