Notes & Reviews:
All the music on this new SACD from the Netherlands Bach Society is associated with the festival of Christmas. Bach wrote the cantata Unser Mund sei voll Lachens for morning service on Christmas Day 1725, and the fi rst version of the Magnifi cat for Christmas Day 1723, seven months after the Leipzig town council appointed him cantor of the Thomaskirche. It would hardly be exaggerating to say that Bach thus presented his visiting card to his new employer. According to the Bach scholar Christoph Wolff, the work is his, “first really large-scale and complex piece of church music.” Christmas was not the only occasion to sing the Magnificat text, however, for it was also a standard part of the vespers liturgy. This may explain why Bach made a second version, heard here, some years later. For this recording, in keeping with the tradition of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Jos van Veldhoven has interspersed Bach’s Magnificat with other Christmas-themed music from the period.
"...heartily recommended if you're partial to period performance."-American Record Guide
"[Mields and Zomer] both carry their verses with seasoned poise...the sepia-like "Et misericordia" finds a rare tenderness, and "Deposuit" from Charles Daniels is brilliantly executed...There's much to admire in the fruity and vibrant choral and instrumental ensemble of the Netherlands Bach Society." -Gramophone Magazine>
"The inserted carols generate a genuinely yuletide flavour, contrasting well with Bach's familiar music...a beautifully articulated, elegant interpretation, supported by a period orchestra playing with a festive sense of purpose.. There are also some lovely soloist moments, for instance Dorothee Mields' pure-toned Quia respexit humilitatem." -Classic FM Magazine ***
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