[ BIS / 2 CD ]
Release Date: Tuesday 1 October 2013
This item is currently out of stock. We expect to be able to supply it to you within 2 - 4 weeks from when you place your order.
"The six cantatas that make up Bach's ChristmasOratorio are part of a unified work celebrating not just Christmas itself but also the New Year and Epiphany. Masaaki Suzuki faces plentiful if not invariably stiff competition in this work.
In fact, it outstrips most of its rivals, in respect both of vocal and instrumental considerations.
A notable quality in Masaaki Suzuki's direction is his feeling for naturally expressive contours, allowing the music to breathe freely. Best of all, perhaps, is his refusal to pay even lip service to Bach's supposed predilection for fast tempos. Everything here seems to be exceptionally well judged, which isn't to say that the pace of individual movements is necessarily slower than those in competing versions but that it's more interrelated with a concept of each section as a whole, and more textually conscious than some.
The soloists are generally very good indeed.
Yoshikazu Mera makes a distinctive contribution and Gerd Türk is a communicative singer whose light articulation suits his partly narrative role. Peter Kooij never puts a foot wrong, while Monika Frimmer makes a favourable impression in her duet with Kooij, 'Herr, dein Mitleid, dein Erbarmen'. A small, wellbalanced choir of technical agility and an accomplished quorum of instrumentalists set the seal on an outstanding achievement. The finest all-round performance of the ChristmasOratorio on disc." (Gramophone)