Reviews

As I listened to this excellent new recording of the B minor Mass I found myself reflecting on the progress that we have witnessed in recent years. When I first started to listen seriously to the choral music of Bach, some 35 years ago at least, a commercial recording of the mighty B minor Mass by a student choir would have been an unlikely proposition. Furthermore, despite the excellent work...
All’s well, everything precisely where it should be with this new Bach B minor Mass, albeit from a source not known for many forays into this territory. The Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge is one of the world’s finest choirs, one that operates in an atmosphere and expectation of excellence, neither knowing nor inhabiting a world of the middling or mediocre either in performances or recordings...
Scholarly scruples about Bach’s recycling of material from earlier works, even secular cantatas, can never diminish the stature of his late, great Mass in a performance as uplifting and invigorating as this. Layton makes no claims to “authenticity” with his mixed young-adult choir - sounding wonderfully fresh and athletic - and mature soloists. In any case, the composer probably never heard his...
The Bach Mass in B minor, BWV 232, assembled from bits and pieces over some years, coheres in its final form in ways that perhaps only the composer understood. This recording by the Choir of Trinity College Cambridge and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Stephen Layton has been road-tested in performances around Britain for several years, but it hasn't lost the enthusiasm of its...
When Jonathan Freeman-Attwood reviewed the rather good B minor Mass from Jonathan Cohen and Arcangelo (11/14), he spoke of it plugging an ‘obvious gap’ in Hyperion’s Bach catalogue. He was probably not to know that within four years the label would be issuing another B minor, not only sharing one of the same soloists (and, for the record, one choral singer and two players), but also the same...
GRAMOPHONE EDITOR'S CHOICE JULY 2017 If a disc of sacred Victoriana conjures images of kid gloves and more-tea-vicar, then this is the recording to banish them once and for all. Tea cups are shattered along with prim liturgical proprieties in a recording that reclaims this repertoire as the full-blooded Christian battle cry that it is. Recordings of Stanford’s great choral anthems are not short...