This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.
Concerto Copenhagen and Lars Ulrik Mortensen adopt the minimalist one-voice-per-part approach to the choir: 10 expert voices have been chosen shrewdly, with five ‘concertino’ singers (the soloists) reinforced in choruses by an additional five ‘ripieni’ voices.
To my mind, Mortensen’s special performance, full to the brim with insightful musicianship and a refreshing avoidance of contrived formulas, comfortably joins Parrott, Junghänel and John Butt as the finest examples of this kind of perspective on performing Bach’s monumental sacred masterpiece.
Maria Keohane and Joanne Lunn combine to beguiling effect in an understated ‘Christe eleison’, and the latter sings ‘Laudamus te’ radiantly in partnership with Fredrik From’s sophisticated violin obbligato playing. The musical conversation between oboist Antonie Torunczyk and countertenor Alex Potter in ‘Qui sedes’ ebbs and flows sweetly. Peter Harvey’s ‘Quoniam’ has dignified gravitas (and tasteful horn-playing by Ursula Paludan Monberg), and Jan Kobow sings poignantly in partnership with flautist Katy Bircher in the Benedictus.
The individual components are routinely marvelous, but Concerto Copenhagen produce something much more than the sum of its parts: one of the most profoundly captivating interpretations to have emerged recently.