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Bach - Christmas, Easter & Ascension Oratorios

Christmas Oratorio

Martin Lattke
(The Evangelist)
& Carolyn Sampson (soprano) etc
Leipzig Gewandhausorchester & Dresdner Kammerchor/Riccardo Chailly

Decca 478 2271 [2 discs]

Modern instruments and suitably sized forces made for successful performances of these six cantatas, given in Leipzig on 7 & 8 January 2010 and well recorded by Decca's engineers.

Riccardo Chailly demonstrates that vivid, stylistically aware performance is not the exclusive preserve of period instrument ensembles and the release can be welcomed with enthusiasm.

Easter & Ascension Oratorios

Carolyn Sampson (soprano), Iestyn Davies (countertenor),
James Gilchrist
(tenor) & Peter Harvey (bass)
Retrospect Ensemble/Matthew Halls

Linn CKD373

For Linn, Matthew Halls at St Judes keeps his Retrospectors bouncing along to the dance rhythms which predominate in the compact Easter Oratorio.

There are full notes about the many secular sources of this work and their parodic recycling in a religious context.

Alert historically informed performances from all concerned are enhanced by having everyone named in the booklet and with tracklisting which enables busy listeners to skip the recits...

The recording at St Jude's Church in Hampstead (is it the one -on-th-Hill, a traffic free oasis near Golders Green ?) makes the most of a perfect acoustic.

We are so overloaded with Bach not-so-compact discs that we've had to move many of them into the attic.

Both these sets will however remain downstairs !

Peter Grahame Woolf