I am greatly indebted to the previous reviewer; I had heard just two of the arias before, but the review encouraged me to try the whole work and, as he suggested, I have not been disappointed. Indeed, I have been thrilled, if that is not the wrong word to use for a text which nominally concerns a serious matter. But the text just seems an excuse for wonderful, uplifting music, full of passion and drama, so that every aria, every recitative even, is such a joy to listen to.
The whole work is wonderfully sung by all the soloists. Andreas Scholl is on absolutely cracking form and his three later arias are positively life-enhancing. Maria Cristina Kiehr sounds exactly like a higher version of Andreas Scholl, with a crystal-clear soprano that is tailor-made for this work. Her final solo is just pure magic; the previous reviewer was also right about the final notes, but I won't give away the secret.
Just marvellous, I don't know why it isn't much better known. Incidentally, most of these participants also recorded Buxtehude's magnificent Membra Jesu Nostri around this time (re-released in 2003 and re-recorded on DVD in 2005), which I can recommend equally highly.