on 18 September 2000
McCreesh has repeated the successes of reviving the music and spirit of the Italian and German Renaissance with this double-disc set of a potential mass format for Epiphany. He revives one of Bach's smaller mass settings, and also gives us the gorgeous Cantata BWV65, among others. The playing, particularly from the horns, who use small, high-pitched horns for BWV65, is outstanding. Organ interludes and bells provide the atmosphere, though one wishes that he could have repeated the massed choirs from his Praetorius Christmas Mass, which provided such a strong finish on that disc. In the approach to Christmas, I encourage all Bach lovers to give this serious thought, to add a Baroque feel to their Christmas music this year.
on 6 January 2015
Doesn't quite work. If I want a reconstruction of a service, DO IT, and if I want a studio recording of a cantata, I know where to go. But this odd mix of a small professional mixed choir singing the Mass and the cantatas, in the midst of the congregational works, doesn't make for an interesting disk. I don't know what group sang the cantata in Bach's time, but I certainly do know it didn't have adult females. McCreesh's Praetorius Christmette is an exceptional disk, with all the elements in place. This one misses the mark, and sadly, showed McCreesh the way forward for all the rest of his recordings, using his own professional mixed choir, and I stopped buying.