Bach Mass in B Minor - Dunedin Consort - The Sunday Herald

I'm tempted to assert that this riveting two CD recording of Bach's B minor Mass by the Dunedin Consort and Players is its best yet, except that even to merely suggest this would be a backhanded insult to the group's landmark and award-winning Messiah recording, and its successors in the Dunedin catalogue. Nonetheless, this B minor Mass is special. It is an electric performance of Joshua Rifkin's new edition of the Mass by Susan Hamilton's incredibly confident vocal team in inseparable alliance with John Butt's wonderfully strategic and totally alive direction of the piece, which is delivered with immediacy and profundity by the outstanding Dunedin Players, which is an ensemble that includes present and former SCO principal bassoonists, along with the orchestra's powerhouse principal cellist, David Watkin, in the engine room. It is a performance that has a huge depth and expansiveness, and it also has a hair-raising "hear and now" dimension to its impact. The key to its greatness is the structuring.

27 June 2010