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For this rarely performed fourth version of the St John Passion Bach revised all the parts, changing the overall tonal character of the work by extended instrumentation; he also added a more elaborate dynamic shading and articulation markings. For me, this heightens the drama, which is fully conveyed by the persuasive and riveting performance of early music vocal ensemble Cantus Cölln under director Konrad Junghanel, and enhanced by well articulated and precise instrumental playing. Particularly outstanding among an excellent group of soloists is the narration of tenor Hans Jörg Mammel and the portrayal of Jesus by Markus Flaig, whose beautiful bass voice brings an added dimension to the part. The performance is sensitive, dynamic and highly recommended.

SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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