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This recording uses basically the same forces as the St Matthew Passion (2013). Soloists, choir and ensemble are all excellent, and the distribution of soloists and choir in the first and final choruses is unusual and interesting. There is expressionistic use of continuo resources, but the ‘pause marks’ at the end of each chorale phrase are consistently prolonged, thus reducing variety, movement, drama and expressive content. Jacobs is interviewed about theological aspects, although he admits he is not a theologian; and despite his wayward beating, the choir and orchestra are perfectly together. Items from the 1725 version are a welcome addition.

DAVID PONSFORD Read the full review on Agora Classica


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