The Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists are renowned of their spectacular performances of Bach's epic masterpiece, which they have toured extensively. During their last tour (in Munich, Frankfurt, Lucerne, Aix-en-Provence and Paris) there was a stampede for tickets and they performed every night in full houses, to spellbound audiences. This album is the culmination of the tour: it was recorded in an open session in London, and captures the special atmosphere of the concerts. It is presented in a 2-CD casebook and contains a booklet featuring original notes by John Eliot Gardiner translated in English, German and French.
The quality of the performance is superb, and the booklet notes, extracted from Mr. Gardiner’s excellent recent book “Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven,” are exemplary.
– New York Times
From the outset here, Gardiner’s meticulous grasp of the detail and architecture in tandem is almost terrifyingly auspicious. His admiration for this work is palpable in every bar. In the grip of its conceits and its virtuoso executancy, captured in the strikingly immediate recorded sound of LSO St Luke’s, this High Mass joins a distinguished discography at high table.