Bach: St John Passion (CD Review - International Record Review, 2013)

A very welcome new recording … Stephen Layton presents an intelligently perceptive performance, beautifully sung by a fine team of soloists … This recorded version comes finely honed, a deep familiarity with the score not causing any hint of routine but showing itself in an easy fluency as it passes from devotional strength though the depths of pathos and anguish to high drama, the immediate aftermath of the Crucifixion creating a vividly powerful climax … Ian Bostridge brings to the role of Evangelist great authority and potent power … profoundly impressive, with his vocal dexterity, marvellous purity of tone and astonishing sense of involvement achieved through placing great emphasis on the delivery of the text. In Neal Davies we have a Christus who exudes anguish but also considerable poise … Layton's reading gets closer to the heart of the passion story than most and as such, is a recording that ranks very highly indeed. The recorded sound is, as we would expect, superb' (International Record Review)

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