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Stephen D Chakwin Jr
American Record Guide, September 2011

The singers are distinguished ones with (except for Auger) mostly middle European careers. Kuhn (who was in his 30s when this concert was given) studied conducting under Maderna and Karajan.

The Collegium Aureum was a German early instrument group with a relatively modern (and pleasant) sound. The strings have at least a hint of vibrato, and the brass and wind seem to be close to modern instruments. The chorus is a little light in weight.

The soloists are all lovely in voice. It’s nice to be back in a time when Schreier and Berry had young, juicy voices and Auger was alive. Kuhn’s reading is a little light and sometimes slow, approaching slack, in ways that neither Karajan nor Maderna would have put up with for a moment.

I wouldn’t choose this over Hogwood on video and would want to look at the Fischer DVD before I settled on this one. If I were going beyond DVDs, I would choose either Karajan, Solti, or Harnoncourt over this one.

Still, this performance is perfectly pleasant, never goes seriously off the rails, and offers fine vocal work, especially when Auger is singing. I don’t mind having spent time with it and will go back.

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