Related Reviews
Fanfare
'One cannot listen to it without reacting to its dance-like energy and sensing the infectious joy of the Christmas season.'
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Iowa Public Radio
'...it won't surprise you that it's now my own Christmas Oratorio of choice.'
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Audio
4 Stars
AUDIOphile Pearls: „Entfaltet der anerkannte Bach-Dirigent Transparenz, Drive und große Textverständlichkeit. Musikalisch ist Butts federnder, tänzerischer Ansatz fraglos reizvoll.''
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Image Hi-Fi
,,Der Chor und die Solisten singen ebenso lebendig wie schnörkellos. Komplettiert wird der Hörgenuss durch die Klangqualität - sondern einfach nur anrührend und mitreißend.''
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The Sunday Times
'This is a beautifully crafted performance...There's an easy flow to the tempos and the glowing singing of the arias is matched by deeply impressive instrumental obbligatos.'
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The Observer
Best classical Christmas releases 2016: 'Dunedin Consort's first-rate Christmas Oratorio, already released to rapturous reviews and in a class all its own.'
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The Arts Desk
The Year's Best Seasonal Releases: 'The Dunedin Consort's playing is full of character...exceptionally good, and beautifully presented.'
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The Bloomington Herald
'Features Butt's stunning Dunedin Consort and a delicious-to-hear set of soloists...the cantatas are performed with welcome energy, clarity and attention to period detail.'
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Financial Times
4 Stars
'John Butt and his Dunedin Consort's performance gives the composer's Christmas fare a seasonal sparkle.'
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NDR
CD der Woche: "Mit Pauken und Trompeten begrüßt Johann Sebastian Bach die Geburt des Christkindes. Die neue Aufnahme verbindet diesen festlichen Glanz mit tänzerischem Schwung und Präzision. Der Dirigent John Butt versprüht die Freudenfunken mit einer kleinen Orchesterbesetzung. Butt begreift das Stück als erweiterte Kammermusik, der Klang bleibt immer durchsichtig und klar. / CD of the Week: 'Johann Sebastian Bach welcomes the birth of the Christ Child with timpani and trumpets. The new recording combines this festive glow with dancing swing and precision. Butt comprehends the piece as an extended chamber music, the sound always remains transparent and clear.'
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High Res Mac
"Frohes Fest"
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MusicWeb International
'John Butt and his team have once again opened my ears to a fresh crystal-clear interpretation of Bach...Were it not too late, this would have been one of my Recordings of the Year.'
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Full House
5 Stars
'Skal der et ordentligt skud kvalitetsunderholdning til juledagene under træet, er skotske Dunedin Consorts fantastiske udgave af Bachs 'Juleoratorium' det bedste bud.' / 'For some quality holiday entertainment for under the tree, Dunedin Consort's fantastic edition of Bach's 'Christmas Oratorio' is the best bet.'
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The New Yorker
Notable Performances and Recordings of 2016
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Berliner Zeitung
Die Alben zum Weihnachtsfest: „Die Klangqualität des „Christmas Oratorio" mit dem schottischen Dunedin Consort verführt mehr als zwei Stunden lang den Hörer zum genussvollen Lauschen - und das nicht nur zur Weihnachtszeit." / The Albums for Christmas: 'The sound quality of the "Christmas Oratorio" with the Scottish Dunedin Consort seduces the listener for more than two hours to enjoy listening - and not just at Christmas time.'
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Bild der Frau
Pick for Christmas: '...seduces the listener with more than two hours of enjoyable listening - and not just at the Christmas time.'
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musica Dei donum
'The playing is of the highest level. Especially the players of the brass deserve praise for their efforts.'
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Concerto
Oratorio: „Das ergibt insgesamt einen entspannten, bassbetonten und doch transparenten Ensembleklang mit einem ungewohnt strahlenden Hör­nerklang...Alle singen und spielen mit großer Ausstrahlung... etwa die liebevoll vokal-in­strumental aufgefächerte Rhetorik in den Chören der Engel, Hirten und Weisen.'' / Magnificat: „Überhaupt präsentiert sich die Aufnahme in einem warmen, abgerundeten Klangbild''
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Limelight Magazine
The Limelight Magazine Christmas Gift Guide: Pick for Christmas morning
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Audiophile Audition
5 Stars
Eight Christmas CDs for the 2016 Holidays: 'John Butt has rendered a sparkling and energetic performance of this work.'
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Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger
„Insgesamt ist die Produktion hochprofessionell..."
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De Standaard
5 Stars
„Een plaat die onder de kerstboom moet.” / 'A disc which needs to be placed under the Christmas tree.'
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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.'
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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.'
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AllMusic
'Butt's solution is both clever and musically solid. Further, his mostly Scottish soloists add personality to the music and are worth hearing in themselves...This is a performance in which intelligent, small decisions cohere into a persuasive larger whole.'
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InfoDad
4 Stars
'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.'
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Early Music Today
4 Stars
'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.'
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Crescendo
,,Ein richtiger Musikliebhaber wird den Advent nicht ohne eine gute Prise Weihnachtsoratorium begehen wollen. Unter den diesjährigen Neueinspielungen lohnt sich beispielsweise die des Dunedin Consorts.''
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KMT
”Helt naturligt blev den nyligen släppta friskt glänsande inspelningen...strålande solistprestationer som i Juloratoriet i en ljuvlig återgivning av Juldagens.”
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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.'
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BBC Music Magazine
4 Stars
'John Butt's spruced up Christmas Oratorio has the same sense of freshness as previous releases...'
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Vårt Land
5 Stars
KLASSIKER: «Ingen jul uten Johann Sebastian Bachs Juleoratorium».
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Schreibwolff
,,erschienen zeigt es dem Hörer eine äußerst transparent musizierte Version der Bachschen Festmusik''
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Early Music Review
5 Stars
'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.'
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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. »
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Rondo
,,...schöner Momente beglückend ausgelassenen Musizierens...'' / 'some beautiful moments of gleefully exuberant music'
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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.'
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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...'
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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.'
more >>
Scotsman
5 Stars
'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.'
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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.'
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McAlister Matheson Music
'This is a fabulous recording...guaranteed to fulfil even the highest expectations!'
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The Herald Scotland
'This absolutely essential recording is seventh heaven.'
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The Guardian
5 Stars
'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.'
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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.'
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Dunedin Consort - J.S. Bach: Christmas Oratorio - Ouverture Das Klassik-Blog


21 December 2016
Ouverture Das Klassik-Blog

Der Eingangschor des Weihnachtsoratoriums von Johann Sebastian Bach, mit Pauken und Trompeten, wird typischerweise von einem großen Chor gesungen. Kantoreien landauf, landab üben lange daran, vor allem auch an den Koloraturen. „Jauchzet, frohlocket?“ – naja, letztendlich ist der Zuhörer oftmals froh, wenn die Massen ohne größere Verluste an musikalischer Substanz über die gesangstechnischen Klippen gelangt sind, die Bach da aufgetürmt hat.

John Butt hat Bachs originale Noten sorgsam studiert, und dann beschlossen, das Weihnachtsoratorium mit seinem Dunedin Consort gänzlich anders aufzuführen: Auf dieser CD wird alles von Solisten gesungen. „First, I have assumed a corpus of eight ,expert' singers who shared out the unusually protracted task of singing six cantatas over the short period between Christmas and Epiphany“, erläutert Butt im Beiheft. „Therefore, ohne group of four sings three oft the parts (Parts 1, 3 and 6) and the other group remainder (Parts 2, 4 and 5). For the three parts with trumpets (Parts 1, 3 and 6) I have added ripienists to the choruses and chorales (sometimes differentiating between tutti and solo when the texture seems to call for it, just as Bach seems to have done when he provided ripieno parts).“

Ebenso differenziert gestaltet Butt auch die Tempi; so geht er in den Ein- gangschor längst nicht so rasant wie viele seiner Kollegen – was aber den Sängern erlaubt, Bachs Verzierungen wirklich auszusingen. Das Solistenquartett ist in den Chören, auch in denen ohne Ripienisten, sehr präsent und gut über das Orchester hinweg zu hören, das von John Butt vom Cembalo aus geleitet wird. Die schlanke Besetzung hat hier große Vorzüge – so transparent jedenfalls habe ich die Chöre noch nie gehört. Die Aufnahme zeichnet sich generell aus durch ein heiter-beschwingtes Musizieren, das aber nie plump und oberflächlich wird. Sehr gut ausbalanciert, wohldurchdacht, und insgesamt sehr hörenswert! 


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J.S. Bach: Christmas Oratorio (Digital Deluxe Version)J.S. Bach: Christmas Oratorio (Digital Deluxe Version)