47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
A vivid reflection of Butt's Bach scholarship,
This review is from: Bach: Matthew Passion (Audio CD)
John Butt is a respectable Bach scholar and he has done a great deal of work with regard to Bach's vocal scoring in the two Passions. Here for the second time on record (I think) he has used the OVPP (one voice per part) for his performance of St Matthew Passion. Six concertists, Jesus, Evangelist and two soprano repienists constitute the entire vocal force. It works brilliantly to convey both senses of intimacy and austerity in Bach's score. This is matched by Butt's fluid pacing of the music and the performer's lucid diction (no operative singing style here) and the result is a most refreshing and natural sounding Matthew Passion that I have heard in years. Highly recommended as an alternative to usual HIP recordings of this music such as Herreweghe's, Gardiner's, or even the more self-consciously dramatic McCreesh (the first OVPP recording).