Bernard Michael O'Hanlon Reply to on 16 May 2013
|What with the arrival of this Jeggy retrospective, those among us who place a premium on brisk efficiency and freeze-dried spirituality are in clover. It is an enduring source of wonder that a conductor who operates in such a restrictive emotional sphere has made as many recordings as what he has: all power to the Duke of Dorset!
The inclusions in this box are known quantities (I have yet to summon the stamina to tackle Jeggy's Purcell and Gluck). His recording of Monteverdi's Vespers is the pride of the pale fleet and rightly so: its fame will endure. As an astute man said to me recently: Johann Sebastian Bach is a thoroughly Germanic phenomenon and we ignore it at our own peril. In the Matthew Passion, Jeggy never gets a chance to find `true Berlin' in this dynamic: the finishing-line beckons. In recompense, one can admire his clean pair of heels. Mention should also be made of his recording of the Missa Solemnis; it's about as spiritual as a frozen pizza but all the notes are certainly there and how quickly they whiz past!
In a parallel universe, yours truly would be allowed to assemble his own Jeggy retrospective. In addition to some of the inclusions in the current box, it would encompass:
His Haydn-ification of Bruckner's D Minor Mass - a rare instance where the Vienna Philharmonic sounds tentative in this domain and who can blame them?
Jeggy's survey of Haydn's late masses. Praised be that which dehydrates us!
Jeggy's recording of the Messiah where he first broadcast his trademark `Brisk Efficiency' to the world.
Jeggy's performance of the Linz Symphony on Philips. Far more than the Alamogordo test site, the finale is ground-zero.
His comic, sorry, cosmic survey of Brahms' symphonies on his private label. Spruce woodwind carry the day . . . . . or do they?
Jeggy's recent survey of Mozart's last three symphonies. To have learnt nothing.
It is an impressive record in its own way. With moths amassing in the wings, I wonder whether Jeggy's real significance might lie in another realm: as a counter to global warming.
Happy Birthday Jeggy! At the Festival of the Supreme Clipped Phrase, your fame endureth forever.