John Passion - Dunedin Consort - Ionarts
After a most invigorating Matthew Passion in 2008..the historically most informed John Butt presents us now with the St. John Passion, and it's his best of the lot! No other recording of the St. John Passion is as palpably historically informed...Butt sets the Passion into its liturgical context of eighteenth century Leipzig Good Friday service (authentic 1720 Lutheran sermon included as a free download, replete with subtle Saxonian accent in the German!). That includes organ chorale preludes for intro and outro, congretational chorales at the relevant points, a concluding motet, responsory, collect, blessing, and the chorale that responds to the blessing. So far for unparalleled authenticity....Standing in for what would have been Leipziger townsfolk as the chorale-singing masses are the University of Glasgow Chapel Choir singers. Butt of course leads his Dunedin Consort in an infectious, tight performance that is...not marred by singers; Nicholas Mulroy is steadfast and Clare Wilkinson in particular is - thankfully - in top form.
Butt performs an ideal version - an amalgamate of the 1724 and 1749 version that Butt calls 'a reconstruction of the 1739 performance, one that never actually took place.' It'll be one of the St. John Passions I'll most likely grab off the bulging shelf, when in the mood!