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Bach Mass in B Minor - Dunedin Consort - ClassicsToday.com


25 May 2010
ClassicsToday.com
David Vernier
4½ Stars

John Butt and his Dunedin Consort & Players are back with another large-scale Bach masterpiece, performed in accordance with Joshua Rifkin's fascinating, exhaustively-researched arguments for employing one-voice-to-a-part in the choral works. This also is the premiere recording using Rifkin's recently published scholarly edition of the B minor Mass, which purports to have cleared away "improvements" inflicted on the score after Bach's death, and presents the work as faithfully as possible in Bach's final conception...

...speaking of performances: those on this recording are actually very fine, particularly in regard to the quality, technical ability, and command of Bach style demonstrated by each of the individual voices. When they sing in ensemble, of course you notice the singular attributes of each voice--which to me is a distraction better left where you expect it, in the Romantic-era drawing room of Brahms' Liebeslieder. There's no lack of energy, no compromise in phrasing or dynamic intensity (thanks largely to engineering that places the singers rather close), and you really can't complain about the vibrant, natural sound. For a while you can really lose yourself in this performance--and many of the arias are as fine as you'll hear anywhere; Margot Oitzinger's Agnus Dei is to die for...

From www.classicstoday.com


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J.S. Bach Mass in B Minor - Breitkopf & Härtel Edition, edited by J. Rifkin (2006)J.S. Bach Mass in B Minor - Breitkopf & Härtel Edition, edited by J. Rifkin (2006)