Posts by Honey B

    Osbert has hit the nail on the head. At Utrecht recently, I had the chance to be in several separate conversations with a leading early music tenor and a very knowledgeable early music devotee/reviewer, and exactly this point came out: good early music singers intelligently match their singing with the playing style of the instrumentalists.


    It was a privilege to hear Blažíková live at Utrecht. She was everything as good as her recordings and much more.


    An interesting point that SineNomine raised: “.... the voice of the castrato is totally different from the voice of (a) countertenor.” Unless SineNomine has actually heard the singing of what would today amount to child abuse, isn’t this mere speculation? Even the great Gustav Leonhardt acknowledged that “....in truth most of our playing is based on hypothesis” when he was discussing how the composers heard their music at the time.


    While Honey B has inadvertently stirred a hornets’ nest, does anyone think that Markéta Cukrová was AMAZING in Luks’ 2010 recording of Officium defunctorum ZWV 47 and Requiem in D ZWV 46 (Accent ACC 24244)?

    Collegium 1704 put on a splendid performance of Missa Omnium Sanctorum in Utrecht on 25 August. It was rapturously received by the audience.


    Perhaps the only disappontment was that Hana Blažíková didn't sing with them. The other soloists sang well, particularly Tomas Kral. Another disappointment was Luks' choice of the solo soprano who didn't quite have an historically informed style. Luks could have easily picked Barbora Sojkova who was singing in the choir.


    It wasn't surprising Blažíková didn't sing with them as she sang in another concert with L'Armonia Sonora and Concerto Palatino just over an hour later, performing an all-Rosenmuller programme. Blažíková sang with Robin Blaze and Peter Kooij, and sang a wonderful solo Confitebor Tibi. This was arguably the highlight of the Utrecht Festival. Even Luks and other members of Collegium 1704 were in the audience.

    I hesitate to open up a related debate, the one regarding historically informed performance, be it Baroque, Romantic or later. It was certainly at the back of my mind when I posted my original entry.


    Ensemble Inégal are certainly up there among the leading exponents of historically informed performance of Baroque music. To date, Adam Viktora has shown his impeccable taste in singers who can sing in historically appropriate style – his wife and wonderful soprano Gabriela Eibenová, my favourite soprano Hana Blažíková and the fantastic Tomáš Král come to mind. I share Osbert’s unease about Luks’ choice of singers.


    My point is this: how can musicians like Ensemble Inégal, who are so proficient in the Baroque style, switch to perform composers of a later period and perform at the same high level? Surely if their performance in one style approaches the point of being reflexive and “natural”, they can’t possibly do the same for music of a very different era. There are such signifcant differences in the instruments, techniques, pitches, etc.

    Yes, I suppose it does. I'm a bit like Osbert Parsley, except perhaps I'm more of a before-1750 bore.:)


    Afterall, the homepage of this website does start off with: "If you are at all interested in baroque music, but haven't yet explored the music of Jan Dismas Zelenka, this site is for you."


    Keep up the good work!

    I'm not denying Adam Viktora's artistic freedom to choose what music he performs.


    It's just that I have come to identify him with as a leading early music practitioner from his many excellent recordings of baroque music (Zelenka, Brentner, Vojta, Vivaldi) with Ensemble Inégal and other ensembles (La Gambetta), recordings I enjoy immensely. And he is lauded as a Zelenka champion (quite deservedly) in this Forum. Sure, he has recorded Dvořák too.


    Rest assured my post wasn't meant to be a joke Alistair. I must say I was taken aback by your reaction.