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Also an "historic" performance
on 6 February 2012
Other reviews here on Amazon compare this performance of "St Matthew Passion" with, for example, recordings by Paul McCreesh, and others, of "authentic" versions that seek to recreate the sound world of Bach's own time. I feel that Sir David Willcock's recording here needs to be understood as itself an historic performance, comparable with those common a generation or two ago under conductors like Reginald Jacques and even (on Pearl) Ralph Vaughan Williams.
The Bach Choir sing very well indeed but the glory of this recording is the line-up of soloists, especially the much-missed Robert Tear. Likewise the continuo players, all of whom are splendidly recorded supporting the exceptional soloists.
As Willcocks writes in his notes to the set, there are many other alternative versions of this masterpiece available to the record collector but, like Sir Adrian Boult's 1973 recording of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, this particular performance offers a glimpse of how our parents and grandparents were introduced to this wonderful music. Highly recommended.