This is a very good recording of a live performance at St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, in 2000. The famous boys' choir, Thomanerchor (a direct descendent of Bach's own choir), is very good, although occasional loss of perfect intonation is noticeable but inevitable, this performance having been recorded live.
The soprano, Ruth Holton, sings most beautifully without vibrato. However, the role of the alto is taken by a countertenor. I don't really appreciate the use of a countertenor for this masterpiece of religious music. This is a matter of personal taste. But also, there are historical doubts: did Bach use countertenors? The timbre of a countertenor seems to this reviewer to glare most uncomfortably against the airy coolness of Thomanerchor. The other two male soloists are very good.
The current cantor of the church, Georg Christoph Biller, conducts with precision and sensitivity. The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, using modern instruments - who still performs Bach's works with the boys' choir every weekend - plays most beautifully. The sound recording is very clear. The only drawback of the DVD is that, as usual in filmed concerts, the camera is restless, continually focusing on different musicians, thus distracing the viewer and listener.
For those who are interested in this masterpiece performed by similar forces will find a CD version most rewarding. Recorded in 2006, Biller conducts an ensemble including Thomanerchor, five adult soloists (two sopranos, an alto, a baritone and a bass), accompanied by a small baroque orchestra, Leipzig Baroque Orchestra, using "original" instruments. All the soloists - who received musical education in Saxony - and the choir are excellent. The tempi are generally moderate, and the rhythm is light and well-sprung but never jerky. Being a studio recording, there are no blemishes as sometimes happen in live recordings. Highly recommended.
Unfortunately, Amazon.co.uk does not sell this 2-CD set (Rondeau Production ROP 4009/10). You might try an alternative mail order company such as Amazon.de on the Internet (for Messe H-moll).