Retrospect Ensemble - Bach Oratorios - MusicWeb International
Matthew Halls has produced some wonderful recordings for Hyperion and Linn with performers from the former King's Consort, so I had high expectations of this recording, especially when I saw the very impressive line-up of soloists. At first I was a little disappointed by the opening Sinfonia of the Easter Oratorio and the joyous Kommt eilet und laufet - just a little lacking in exuberance and perhaps a shade slow, I thought, but the surprise is that in both sections Halls is actually marginally faster than Paul McCreesh (DG) and Andrew Parrott (Virgin). On my second hearing, everything fell into place: this is a performance that grows on you.
You're unlikely to regret buying the Linn in one form or another - and those who must have SACD or a 24-bit download, or must have the texts and translations, will find that there's no contest: for them the Linn recording is a must.