Dunedin Consort - J.S. Bach: Magnificat - Europadisc
As with the Pavel Haas Quartet, new releases from John Butt and his Dunedin Consort are eagerly awaited by many of our customers. This year's Dunedin disc was a Bach Magnificat with a difference, performed in the original E flat major version, with not just the extra choral interpolations for Christmas 1723, but a reconstruction of the whole festive Vespers service in which that Christmas performance took place. So we get the dazzling, trumpet-led Christmas cantata Christen, ätzet diesen Tag (BWV 63), as well as congregational chorales, jewel-like organ chorale preludes from the Orgelbüchlein, and even an opening double-choir motet by Giovanni Gabrieli.
Selecting just ten highlights from the past year has been difficult enough: making an overall choice from among them is even more so. In the end it was the Dunedin Consort's recording of Bach's Magnificat that gripped us most, not just for its combination of brilliant musicianship and fastidious research, but because the reconstruction as a whole proves such an involving, immersive experience for the listener. Congratulations to John Butt and his forces, and the team at Linn, on creating the Europadisc 2015 Disc of the Year!