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Bach: Mass In B Minor / Dunedin Consort & Players

Bach / Dunedin Consort
Release Date: 05/01/2010 
Label:  Linn Records   Catalog #: 354  
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Cecilia OsmondSusan HamiltonThomas HobbsMargot Oitzinger,   ... 
Conductor:  John Butt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dunedin ConsortDunedin Players
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

It’s almost 30 years since Joshua Rifkin rocked the musical world with his one-to-a-part recording of Bach’s last and greatest sacred work. The subsequent controversy between the ‘choral’ tradition and the minimalists became highly acrimonious.

Butt takes a more moderate stance than Rifkin’s strictly solo performance. With ten singers, he varies density and vocal colour by adding and subtracting voices. The Kyrie fugue begins with spare solo voices, but they’re doubled as the instrumental accompaniment becomes richer.

As well as modifying the sound-quality, this clarifies the structure – Italian solo-tutti contrasts underlie much of Bach’s music. So too does dance, and Butt’s players generate a lively sense of
Read more forward motion; the perpetual ‘walking’ bass-line of ‘Et in unum’ combines a light step with constant momentum.

Young Consort voices meet the virtuoso challenges, ‘Et resurrexit’ for instance, at a thrilling pace. As soloists they are outstanding – Margot Oitzinger a contralto with countertenor-ish focus, Susan Hamilton ideally matched with, yet distinctive from, Osmond in the ‘Christe’ duet.

Thomas Hobbs’s ‘Benedictus’ is gloriously lyrical (with flute rather than violin); Matthew Brook’s ‘Quoniam’ is as fluent as the impeccable horn obbligato of Anneke Scott; four violins present an unblemished unison in the ‘Agnus’.

Such transparency comes at a price. It’s exemplified by the first Credo: in this eight-part texture, solo voices and instruments are less audibly differentiated than would be full chorus and orchestra. But surround-sound recording helps greatly, drawing out a third dimension from the flat stage of stereo.

No performance could better justify small-scale Bach than this convincing marriage of scholarship and inspiration.

Performance: 5 (out of 5), Sound: 5 (out of 5)

-- George Pratt, BBC Music Magazine

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.
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Works on This Recording

1.
Mass in B minor, BWV 232 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Cecilia Osmond (Soprano), Susan Hamilton (Soprano), Thomas Hobbs (Tenor),
Margot Oitzinger (Mezzo Soprano), Matthew Brook (Baritone)
Conductor:  John Butt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dunedin Consort,  Dunedin Players
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1747-49; Leipzig, Germany 

Sound Samples

Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Kyrie eleison (Chorus)
Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Christe eleison (Soprano 1 and 2)
Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Kyrie eleison (Chorus)
Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Gloria in excelsis Deo (Chorus)
Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Et in terra pax (Chorus)
Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Laudamus te (Soprano 2)
Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Gratias agimus tibi (Chorus)
Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Domine Deus (Soprano 1, Tenor)
Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Qui tollis peccata mundi (Chorus)
Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Qui sedes ad dextram Patris (Alto)
Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Quoniam tu solus Sanctus (Bass)
Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Cum Sancto Spiritu (Chorus)
Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Credo in unum Deum (Chorus)
Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Patrem omnipotentem (Chorus)
Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Et in unum Dominum (Soprano 1, Alto)
Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Et incarnatus est (Chorus)
Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Crucifixus (Chorus)
Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Et resurrexit (Chorus)
Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Et in Spiritum Sanctum Dominum (Bass)
Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Confiteor unum baptisma (Chorus)
Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum (Chorus)
Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Sanctus (Chorus)
Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Osanna (Double Chorus)
Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Benedictus (Tenor)
Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Osanna - Da capo (Double Chorus)
Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Agnus Dei (Alto)
Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Dona nobis pacem (Double Chorus)

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