Bach: St Matthew Passion (Concert Review - Radio New Zealand, 2018)

The APO has already given us a concert opera this year with Verdi’s Aida but last night’s performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion seemed like another one at times with its drama, passions, and powerful music. The story is told from multiple perspectives with some soloists, the chorus, and the orchestra taking on different roles and characters.This is not an easy work in many ways with its often s

Bach: St Matthew Passion (Concert Review - Bachtrack, 2018)

One of the highlights of Auckland's musical life these last few years has been the semi-regular appearances of English conductor Stephen Layton to lead the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in Bach's great choral masterworks. Previous instalments have included revelatory performances of the B Minor Mass and St John Passion and, this year, these were followed by the St Matthew Passion, the second of

Bach: Mass in B minor (CD Review - Music Web International, 2018)

As I listened to this excellent new recording of the B minor Mass I found myself reflecting on the progress that we have witnessed in recent years. When I first started to listen seriously to the choral music of Bach, some 35 years ago at least, a commercial recording of the mighty B minor Mass by a student choir would have been an unlikely proposition. Furthermore, despite the excellent work that

Bach: Mass in B minor (CD Review -, 2018)

All’s well, everything precisely where it should be with this new Bach B minor Mass, albeit from a source not known for many forays into this territory. The Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge is one of the world’s finest choirs, one that operates in an atmosphere and expectation of excellence, neither knowing nor inhabiting a world of the middling or mediocre either in performances or recordings.

Bach: Mass in B minor (CD Review - The Sunday Times, 2018)

Scholarly scruples about Bach’s recycling of material from earlier works, even secular cantatas, can never diminish the stature of his late, great Mass in a performance as uplifting and invigorating as this. Layton makes no claims to “authenticity” with his mixed young-adult choir - sounding wonderfully fresh and athletic - and mature soloists. In any case, the composer probably never heard his ch

Bach: Mass in B minor (CD Review -, 2018)

The Bach Mass in B minor, BWV 232, assembled from bits and pieces over some years, coheres in its final form in ways that perhaps only the composer understood. This recording by the Choir of Trinity College Cambridge and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Stephen Layton has been road-tested in performances around Britain for several years, but it hasn't lost the enthusiasm of its youthful