View Poll Results: Sir John Eliot Gardiner - One of the Greatest Conductors?

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  • Agree - Sir John is one of the finest conductors. I rate him highly.

    31 55.36%
  • Disgree - Sir John is mediocre at best, another marketing hype.

    8 14.29%
  • Indifferent with Sir John's conducting - I have often experienced better and also worse.

    17 30.36%
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Thread: Sir John Eliot Gardiner - One of the Greatest Conductors In the Last Century?

  1. #16
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    First option. Largely agree he's "great" or a good conductor, or whatever label one chooses.

    A friend of mine is a fan, he has some of Gardiner's recordings which I've heard some of. His Messiah is the first full recording of the work I'd hear a few years back, and it got me jumping on the choral bandwagon for a good while - esp. of the old stuff. Even took in a concert of Messiah, which was great - the Gardiner recording was kind of the catalyst for that to happen.

    I've also heard some of the friend's other Gardiner discs, a notable one was him at the helm of Bach's orchestral suites, which I enjoyed (even though Bach's orchestral works are not my favourites, I prefer his smaller scale things).

    I don't remember hearing his stuff of music after 1800, can't comment on that...

  2. #17
    Senior Member StlukesguildOhio's Avatar
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    It would seem to me that a measure of just how good a conductor is comes down to just how many recordings he (or she) has produced that I consider "essential" (and by "essential" I don't mean necessarily the "best", but rather one of the recordings of a given repertoire that I must have). Among such recordings I would include pretty much the whole of this set:



    Included here are the St. Matthew and St. John Passions, the Mass in B-minor, the Magnificat, the Christmas Oratorio, and some 10 or 11 discs of favorite cantatas from this set:



    Nearly every disc in this set might be counted among the first choices for that specific repertoire. Certainly, I am aware of some marvelous recordings of some of these masterworks by Philippe Herreweghe, Ton Koopman, and others, but Gardiner would not be a bad first choice for any of these works.

    Among the major choices for the whole of Bach's cantatas the real choices are between the Nikolaus Harnoncourt/Gustav Leonhardt set, Ton Koopman, Masaaki Suzuki, and Gardiner. All of the sets are worthy and I am admittedly quite impressed with Suzuki's efforts... but I lean toward the more emotional and muscular approach taken by Gardiner.

    I am particularly fond of Monteverdi and again Gardiner provides two "essential" discs within this repertoire:



    The Vespers and L'Orfeo

    Gardiner must surely be counted among those most essential to G.F. Handel's revival. Among his most brilliant recordings I would count:





    ********

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  4. #18
    Senior Member StlukesguildOhio's Avatar
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    (And the Vivaldi is no less stunning!)





    And surely at least a half-a-dozen other discs.

    If Gardiner is a major player behind the revival of Handel, he is THE most important figure behind the revival of Gluck:





    *************

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  6. #19
    Senior Member StlukesguildOhio's Avatar
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    In the more crowded field of Mozart interpretations I would include Gardiner's Requiem and Great Mass in C-minor for special attention:



    I would probably not go with Gardiner as the first choice for any of Mozart's operas... but then again, I certainly recognize them as often among the finest. I would also want Gardiner's DVD of Le Nozze di Figaro among my choices of this opera in video format. I would also count his HIP recordings of the piano concertos among the top HIP choices.

    Other "essential" recordings:

    Beethoven- 9 Symphonies (no. 3 is especially fiery)
    Beethoven- Mass in C
    Beethoven- Missa Solemnis
    Beethoven- Leonore (A version of Fidelio based largely on Beethoven's initial scores)
    Haydn- The Creation
    Haydn- Masses
    Schumann- The 4 Symphonies (enlightening...)
    Schumann- Das Paradies und die Peri / Requiem für Mignon / Nachtlied (choral works)
    Brahms- The 4 Symphonies (The first to really shake of the dust of these for me)
    Brahms- German Requiem
    Brahms- Choral Works
    Weber- Oberon

    Gardiner has limited much of his efforts to earlier music (as opposed to the lush Romantic oeuvre) and especially to vocal/choral works. I don't see this as something that should detract from his merits. Most conductors (and soloists) limit themselves to a certain range or repertoire.

    One of the "greatest" conductors? That's always difficult. There are so many fine conductors focused on different repertoire

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  8. #20
    Senior Member HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
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    That's an admirable collection/suggestion there, StlukesguildOhio. I have nearly all of them. I would also add the complete Mozart piano concertos with Malcolm Bilson (fortepiano) (and with other soloists for the concertos for more than one piano), with the English Baroque Sololists. Outstanding in every way. I think they now come in a budget priced box-set with a different cover to the one pictured below, if you are interested:-




    Budget priced version


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  10. #21
    Senior Member jflatter's Avatar
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    I like his his early/Baroque recordings like the Bach Cantatas. His Berlioz isn't bad either. However I can't be having his Beethoven.

    Funny I am going to hear him conduct Rigoletto at the end of March at Covent Garden (gulp).

  11. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarpsichordConcerto View Post
    For example?
    One off the top of my head: his adagio of Beethoven's 9th symphony.

  12. #23
    Senior Member Aksel's Avatar
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    I really like his baroque stuff, like the Bach cantatas, and also his Mozart. Also, the CD with Brecht songs with von Otter is really good.
    I have some Haydn and Monteverdi of his, but I haven't really listened to it.

  13. #24
    Senior Member tgtr0660's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polednice View Post
    I need a special option: "Well done JEG, but stick to Baroque music." His conducting of music from the Romantic era is invariably abominable, with the occasional exception of choral works.
    I can't agree more with this post. JEG, stick with Bach and Handel and the occasional other baroque composer (Purcell, for example). Stay away from anything produced since the times of Mozart and Haydn (though JEG's Mozart operas could be saved from this criticism).

    And even with baroque masters he's not always perfect. With Handel, for example, Jephta, Solomon, Hercules, Acis and Galatea, Messiah: fantastic; Royal Fireworks Music and Water Music: a disaster.

    I'd have another option on this poll: "A great conductor". Sometimes among the greatest, sometimes among the worst

  14. #25
    Senior Member tgtr0660's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polednice View Post
    I need a special option: "Well done JEG, but stick to Baroque music." His conducting of music from the Romantic era is invariably abominable, with the occasional exception of choral works.
    I can't agree more with this post. JEG, stick with Bach and Handel and the occasional other baroque composer (Purcell, for example). Stay away from anything produced since the times of Mozart and Haydn (though JEG's Mozart operas could be saved from this criticism, and his Gluck is excellent).

    And even with baroque masters he's not always perfect. With Handel, for example, Jephta, Solomon, Hercules, Acis and Galatea, Messiah: fantastic; Royal Fireworks Music and Water Music: a disaster.

    I'd have another option on this poll: "A great conductor". Sometimes among the greatest, sometimes among the worst

  15. #26
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    Sir John Eliot Gardiner is one of the greatest conductors on the planet.

  16. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ComposerOfAvantGarde View Post
    Sir John Eliot Gardiner is one of the greatest conductors on the planet.

    Who invited you?

  17. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaneyes View Post
    Who invited you?
    I'm not the guy who exclusively listens to 20th/21st century music. I love the old stuff. Especially HIP.

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  19. #29
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    This is my favourite version of Le Nozze di Figaro.


  20. #30
    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    don't care for him at all. too cold and antiseptic for me. Pinnock is better and even Hogwood. but i prefer warmth and feeling in the music. have 0 Gardiner

    Suzuki for Bach is my preference and Pinnock or I Musici for instrumental baroque stuff. or I Solisti Italiana if i can find them.

    also like Tafelmusik, Bruno Weill's group

    Hickox and Collegium Musicum are great with the Haydn masses..................

    no JEG here, he's good at what he does, not my tea though............
    Last edited by Itullian; Feb-23-2012 at 08:10.

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