Bach: Mass in B minor in The Independent

The Independent on Sunday, November 2015

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'It is hard to imagine this recording being bettered '


It is so easy to trot off the four syllables of B Minor Mass, so easy to hear it as a whole, single work, that the immensity and scale of Bach's project can be overlooked. 

Decades in the making, coming in at just under two hours, and almost certainly heard only in part duing the composer's lifetime, it is here revisited after 30 years by John Eliot Gardiner, the Monteverdi Choir and the [English] Baroque Soloists, its narrative powers, range of expression from simple faith to shock and awe audibly underpinned by the same forces' complete Bach cantatas project that has gone before.

With selfless, unshowy solo vocal work and outstanding playing throughout, it is hard to imagine this recording being bettered.

Claudia Pritchard