J S Bach, Netherlands Chamber Choir And Orchestra Of The 18th Century, Frans Bru - Mass in B Minor

Tuesday 1st May 1990
J S Bach, Netherlands Chamber Choir And Orchestra Of The 18th Century, Frans Bru - Mass in B Minor

STYLE: Classical
RATING 6 6 6 6 6 6
LABEL: Phillips 42623382

Reviewed by Dave Massey

This is a quality recording, quality orchestra and a quality director with quality singers all wrapped up in quality packaging.   Nevertheless something is missing. As usual, the Netherlands Chamber Choir give a good account of themselves as do David Staff, Michael Harrison and Jonathan Impett - the trumpet section. They especially come into their own on "Cum Sanctu Spiritu" (disc 1) and in the chorus "Et resurrexit* on disc 2. The choral sections reflect some of the majesty and artistry that Bach intended. But overall the recording lacks conviction.  Of the soloists, Nico van der Meel (tenor) and an un-named contralto on "Agnus Dei" (Oh Lamb of God) adapt most readily to the demands of baroque style and nowhere is this more evident than on the "Aria Benedictus Qui Venit" (Blessed is he that cometh). The Mass was recorded live at Vredenburg, Utrecht on period instruments with Frans Bruggen conducting.  It is an album well worth getting, it's just a shame to have come so close with so many good things going on and not to have hit the bulls-eye.

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