Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750) was a composer and virtuoso organist. His sacred music, organ and choral works, and other
instrumental music had an enthusiasm and seeming freedom that concealed
immense rigor. Bach’s use of counterpoint was brilliant and innovative,
and the immense complexities of his compositional style — which often
included religious and numerological symbols that seem to fit perfectly
together in a profound puzzle of special codes — still amaze musicians
today. Many experts of classical music from the middle of the 20th century on consider him as the greatest music composer of all time.
Revered for their intellectual depth, technical command and artistic beauty, Bach's works include the Brandenburg concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Partitas, The Well-Tempered Clavier, the Mass in B Minor, the St Matthew Passion, the St John Passion, the Magnificat, The Musical Offering, The Art of Fugue, the English and French Suites, the Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, the Cello Suites, more than 200 surviving cantatas, and a similar number of organ works, including the celebrated Toccata and Fugue in D minor and Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor.
„Een plaat die onder de kerstboom moet.” / 'A disc which needs to be placed under the Christmas tree.'more >>BBC Radio 3 'Record Review'
'It's exciting. It's a real authentic sound. Joanne Lunn is a standout soprano. She's precise and she's warm and she makes the Echo Aria in the Fourth Cantata work...Her colleague Matthew Brook (bass), has exactly the weight and graininess for the rollicking trumpet aria in the First Cantata. It's been well and intelligently recorded.'more >>MusicWeb International
Recording of the Month: 'This Christmas Oratorio is another mightily successful feather in [Butt's] cap. His small but perfectly formed team of experts, make a crack team when it comes to this music...there is a tremendous sense of excitement in this performance. A marvellous seasonal gift.'more >>Vårt Land
KLASSIKER: «Ingen jul uten Johann Sebastian Bachs Juleoratorium».more >>KMT
”Helt naturligt blev den nyligen släppta friskt glänsande inspelningen...strålande solistprestationer som i Juloratoriet i en ljuvlig återgivning av Juldagens.”more >>BBC Music Magazine
'John Butt's spruced up Christmas Oratorio has the same sense of freshness as previous releases...'more >>Early Music Today
'The cycle gets off to a splendid start, with the opening chorus introduced by thrillingly incisive timpani and the trumpets sequentially tumbling over themselves with excitement. In the central section luminous, madrigalian textures remind us just why one-voice-per-part seems so inevitably right for this music.'more >>InfoDad
'This [recording] is transcendent, in the sense that it encapsulates the meaning of Christmas...there are ample reasons to turn again and again [to it] for enjoyment inextricably woven with enlightenment.'more >>Gramophone
'Common to all Butt's Bach is an irresistible brightness and freshness, a clarity that fascinates the ear with internal detail, and a glowing sound...this latest gift from the Dunedin Consort is one to go under the tree.'more >>Early Music Review
'John Butt's Christmas Oratorio with the Dunedins is splendid, from the crisp and perfectly tuned opening timpani strokes onward, and I hope it will sweep all before it as this Christmas' "must-have" for all EMR readers.'more >>El arte de la fuga
« Si le apetece disfrutar esta música maravillosa con postulados minimalistas de primerísima calidad, ésta es su opción. No defraudará a nadie cualesquiera que sean sus gustos o manías interpretativas. »more >>MusicWeb International
'You'll find much to admire and enjoy in this excellent performance. Cantata One gets off to a splendid start, the trio of trumpets sparkling. In Cantata Four, the instruments make a super contribution to the opening chorus and since the singing of the quartet is excellent, this movement is a highlight of the whole set. The Linn sound is excellent.'more >>Andrew Benson-Wilson
'With a distinguished group of period instrumentalists, and some outstanding vocal soloists, this is one of the most impressive interpretations I have heard. The singing is superb throughout...'more >>BBC Radio 3 'In Tune'
'Absolutely love that recording...the whole recording is absolutely glittering. There's that sense of really infectious energy that hits you on this recording from the off...Let's hear some more of what promises to be one the essential recordings of the year.'Scotsman
'John Butt's Dunedin Consort does it again. This red hot interpretation of the six cantatas that make up Bach's Christmas Oratorio holds the attention from the word go. The opening chorus, Jauchzet frohlocket, hits you like a lightning bolt, Butt's infectious energy and exhilarating musicianship infusing Bach's joyous music with utterly compelling brilliance.'more >>Europadisc
'Above all, it's the sense of committed yet un-posturing devotion and sheer joy that makes this performance so extraordinarily successful. Beautifully recorded and presented, and fastidiously researched, it's hard to imagine the Christmas Oratorio being better served than this.'more >>McAlister Matheson Music
'This is a fabulous recording...guaranteed to fulfil even the highest expectations!'more >>The Herald Scotland
'This absolutely essential recording is seventh heaven.'more >>The Guardian
'It's surely one of the finest accounts now available of Bach's Christmas Oratorio. The choral sound is pert, sinewy, unforced; the instrumental playing is punchy, broad and charismatic.'more >>Classical CD Choice
'This splendid new release is virtually an exemplar of how period practice aligned with sharp and energetic performance can ensure a very familiar piece comes up fresh as paint.'more >>Limelight Magazine
'The Grammy-nominated Dunedin Consort is supportive and exuberant accompanying allows Bach's lyricism and wit to sparkle.'more >>Fanfare
'They give a joyous performance...'more >>The Strad
'Bernardini offers proficient, well-articulated readings of Bach's two solo violin concertos, her buoyant, small-scale orchestral accompaniment spawning light, spruce textures in the outer movements and making inner detail clearly audible.'more >>AllMusic
'In [Bernardini's] playing you get the virtuoso energy of the contemporary Italian school without the hard edge, and there is a sense of play in her music-making that one senses Bach would have loved...Highly recommended.more >>Netherlands Radio 4
„CD van de Week” / ”CD of the Week”: „Hun nieuwste opname van Bachs betroemde Vioolconcerten is weer een schot in de roos. De concurrentie is groot bij deze werken maar deze cd valt op als een van de betere uit de catalogus.”more >>BBC Radio 3 ‘Record Review’
'Virtual Wallet' Choice by Kate Molleson: 'I love it!'