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There are two robust tests for any choir in Part 2 of the St John Passion: the ‘Wohin?’ interjections in the bass aria, and the fleeting chorus ‘Lasset uns den nicht zerteilen’. In the former, there is on this recording a sense of interruption to the slick tempo; in the latter, more ‘s’ sounds than are ideal. On the up side, vowels and tone deliver a decent impression of the German. If you prefer your Bach with a steely, one-to-a-part vocal ensemble of a chorus, then the 100 voices of America’s oldest Bach society might seem surplus to requirement. Soloists shine; Charles Daniels’s Evangelist and Daniel Taylor’s alto arias deserve especial respect, as does the ensemble playing of the period instrumentalists.

MATTHEW POWER Read the full review on Agora Classica


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