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on 18 March 2013
Original instrument performance with a honey sweet tone of sublime perfection at every level, perfect tempos, exquisite dynamic choral movements, beautifully shaped arias, rich textural detail with exquisite string articulation, and an overall sense of balance between the orchestra and chorus. This is a grandly-scaled exhuberant performance that fully realizes the spiritual power and interpretive possibilities inherent in this work, and that feels very natural and relaxed at the same time. It is a spiritual performance without being prayerful. There are moments of spine-tingling beauty, with stunning percussion, baroque oboe, and brass effects. The alto part is sung by countertenor Patrick van Goethem who has an exceptionally smooth and beautifully toned voice. Bass Peter Kooij seems to have a voice that gets better and better with each passing year, and the sopranos Dorothee Mields and Johannette Zomer are very good indeed. This recording is from a concert performance in Warsaw, Poland in 2009, recorded live in the Warsaw Radio Studio. It is now my first choice, slightly above the Rilling recording. Digipac edition with excellent notes explaining the history of the work and the origin of this recording. A DESERT ISLAND RECORDING.Bach: Mass in B minor, BWV 232 (Edition Bachakademie Vol 70) /Rilling
For a more complete discussion of the choices available for this work see my review of the Gardiner version Bach: Mass in B minor
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