J S Bach, Collegium Vocale Gent, Philippe Herreweghe - Magnificat

Published Friday 30th January 2015
J S Bach, Collegium Vocale Gent, Philippe Herreweghe - Magnificat
J S Bach, Collegium Vocale Gent, Philippe Herreweghe  - Magnificat

STYLE: Choral
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
LABEL: Musique D'Abord HMA1951782

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

Johann Sebastian Bach took up his post as Kantor in Leipzig in the spring of 1723 and one wonders how long it took the congregation to realise that their new man was something special. On the first day of Christmas Bach revealed his setting of the canticle of the Virgin Mary known as the Magnificat. This version in E flat major is now known to us as BWV 243a and is Bach's original with four extra verses. Not content with unleashing one masterpiece Bach also gave them - and us - his Christmas Cantata "Christen, Atzet Diesen Tag" (BWV 63). The two works sit very comfortably together on this disc and the only notes of caution have to be that both have been recorded many times before and that this particular disc is a reissue from 2003. Having said that, this is a strong candidate for a "Best Buy" even if it was at full price. The four soloists, Carolyn Sampson (soprano), Ingeborg Danz (alto), Mark Padmore (tenor) and Sebastian Noack (bass) are all top drawer and Philippe Herreweghe keeps the Collegium Vocale Gent light and bright throughout. The packaging is basic but the audio quality - on the trademark Musique D'Abord black CD - is more than adequate. If you have yet to hear Bach's 'Magnificat' this is one to buy and if you already own a different recording it's still worth considering.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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