JEG returns to filling in the gaps in his Bach catalogue with this album, which includes the funeral cantata BWV106 and the Easter Oratorio. Gardiner's previous BWV106 was released on one of the DG Archiv "Cantata Pilgrimage" recordings (463581-2), but it was recorded 10 years earlier at St. John's, Smith Square. This new one was recorded at Cadogan Hall, and, unusually for Gardiner, doesn't seem to have been a live performance.
Both works receive top-class, nicely-paced performances. However, I marginally prefer the earlier BWV106 recording, which has a nice reverberant acoustic - the new one is "deader" acoustically. Performance-wise, there is nothing to choose between them.
I already knew the Actus Tragicus in his earlier recording but Gardiner's new release is staggering: in more or less the same tempi he reignites this incredibly beautiful music with more sound, more depth, more detail: incredible! The Easter Oratorio with it beautiful arias sung wonderfully by especially soprano Hannah Morrison and tenor Nicholas Mulroy has apart from orchestra and choi an absolute star musician in wonderful Michael Niesemann on oboe!
My favourite composer, my favourite conductor, my favourite players, especially the flutes and oboes, and my favourite soloists. Add to that a wonderful performance and cd at a reasonable price - result pure joy.
Wonderful experience of enjoying these pieces of pure classical music. English Baroque Soloists is one of the best who revive Baroque music. It is suggested listen to it with a decent HIFI combination.