Retrospect Ensemble - Bach Oratorios - The Observer
In the 1730s Bach drew together elements of his sacred music, most famously in the six cantatas of the Christmas Oratorio. His two works for the present period of the church year are equally fascinating. That for Ascension has always been popular, with its trumpet-dominated choruses and exquisite alto and soprano solos (Carolyn Sampson is outstanding here). The Easter Oratorio, with its strong narrative structure, has found less favour, but is so well done here as to quell all doubts about the libretto. Matthew Halls directs sprightly singers and accomplished players.