JS Bach: Motets

Sunday Times, by David Cairns, May 2012

motets JS Bach Motets (SDG 716)

No wonder Mozart was excited when he heard Bach's Singet dem Herrn at the Thomaskirche on his visit to Leipzig in 1789, and got the organist to show him the parts of other Bach motets, which he spread out in front of him and studied with passionate interest. There is no more masterly or more beautiful music, and John Eliot Gardiner and his superb Monteverdi Choir, in this recent live recording from St John's, Smith Square, do it noble justice. Once or twice I felt the alto line could be stronger. And the string-bass continuo is apt to come and go, and sometimes sounds a fraction late; but these are the tiniest blemishes on performances of surpassing beauty and irresistible dancing energy.