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Students of choral polyphony need look no further than these glorious motets from the great master of the baroque period – the intricacy of the contrapuntal writing is mesmerising. The varying of the number of choral lines to highlight certain words in Jesu, meine Freude contrasts with the four-part writing throughout Lobet den Herrn. Each motet is distinctive, whether in the use of the chorales or in the interplay of the choral lines. These works are extremely difficult and all the performers give an enviable display of dexterity and virtuosity. The use of instruments, whether as continuo or to double the vocal lines, is never intrusive. The strength of René Jacobs is that he lets the music speak for itself, and he has the performers with the skill to do this.

SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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