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Bach: Christmas Oratorio / Veldhoven, Zomer, Turk, Harvey

Bach / Netherlands Bach Society / Veldhoven
Release Date: 12/08/2009 
Label:  Channel Classics   Catalog #: 30809  
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Annette MarkertJohannette ZomerGerd TürkPeter Harvey
Conductor:  Jos van Veldhoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Bach Society
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Multi 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.
Packaging contains a slipcase with the two cd's and a 40-page booklet with complete libretto, bio's, artist photo's and liner notes. This new pressing of the Christmas Oratorio is pressed without the pictures from the Museum Catharijne Convent.

"The choral performances are first rate--vibrant, exciting, and involved, with crisp, clear articulation and bright yet full-bodied tone. Just listen to the opening to Part 5, "Ehre sei dir, Gott, gesungen", one of Bach's most irresistible, toe-tapping creations, and you'll be impressed with the precision, the energy, and the cohesive expression demonstrated by both chorus and
Read more orchestra--attributes that apply to the entire recording.

Likewise the soloists are completely at home in their arias and recitatives and give performances that are very easy on the ear as well as being true to Bach's (and his librettist's) conception. That is, except for soprano Johannette Zomer, whose disturbingly inconsistent technique--controlled and compelling one moment (the soprano/bass aria "Herr, dein Mitleid") and harsh and unsubtle the next ("Nur ein Wink von seinen Händen")--ruffles the otherwise perfectly sculpted lines and warmly complementary colors obtained by Veldhoven and his virtuoso forces. Tenor Gerd Türk is a joy to hear--notably in his recit and aria in Part VI--and alto Annette Markert shines in the famous arias "Schlafe, mein Liebster" (Part II) and "Schließe, mein Herze" (Part III). As usual bass Peter Harvey is a uniformly solid, confident, reassuring presence."

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com [9/27/2003]

Additional quotes:
"Elegant, ultra-refined performances." - Early Music America
"The cleanest, most stately, respectful and unromanticized renditions ever recorded." - CNN.com
"[The] Netherlands Bach Society...Excellend solists...the sound-spectrum is spacious but immediate." - BBC Music Magazine
"A performance of clarity, colour and contemplation." - Sydney Morning Herald
"Spectacularly well recorded...with its vivid sound, here's a recording that literally envelopes you with sound." - Gramophone
"A richly nuanced, emotionally charged interpretation." - Classic FM
"An intimate religious intensity...strongly recommended." - International Record Review
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Works on This Recording

Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Annette Markert (Alto), Johannette Zomer (Soprano), Gerd Türk (Tenor),
Peter Harvey (Bass)
Conductor:  Jos van Veldhoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Bach Society
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1734-1735; Leipzig, Germany 

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