Years before Kevin Costner danced with wolves, Robert Redford headed to the mountains to escape civilization in Sydney Pollack's wilderness western. Around 1850, ex-soldier Johnson (Redford) decides that he would rather live alone as a mountain man in Colorado than deal with society's constraints. After a series of setbacks, he meets grizzled mountain veteran Bear Claws (Will Geer), who teaches him how to survive. Jeremiah strives to live as peaceably as possible in the rugged environment, trading with the native Crow tribe, adopting a boy (Josh Albee) after his family is massacred, and even marrying the daughter (Delle Bolton) of a Flathead chief in order to avoid confrontation.
These lamentations are beautifully conceived by Zelenka who has a knack for providing wonderful melodies imbued with mysticism and dignity both for chorus and orchestra. Each lamentation is about twenty four minutes long and is split into two parts that contain some crafty, intelligent writing. The three soloists are quite magnificent in their portrayals of Christ's passion with Michael George particularly impressive in all pieces.
The Chandos Baroque Players are always up to the forefront of proceedings and provide admirably succinct accompaniments. Hyperion has also retained the excellent notes that accompanied the original issue and as I already mentioned, this is now one of the most satisfying releases in the sterling Helios series.(Gerald Fenech)