This is the premiere recording of J.S. Bach's Magnificat heard for the first time within its original liturgical context, alongside the beautiful Christmas Cantata.
Dunedin Consort recreates Bach's first Christmas at Leipzig (Vespers in the Nikolaikirche, 25 December 1723); the recording opens with a Gabrieli motet and includes organ preludes and a seasonal congregational chorale. Director John Butt has given listeners an interpretation that will provide a refreshing outlook on this masterpiece and will show the Magnificat in a completely new light. This recording marks the return of Dunedin Consort's star-studded cast including, Nicholas Mulroy, Matthew Brook, Joanne Lunn and Clare Wilkinson plus newcomer Julia Doyle.
2016 SAY Award Longlist
Dunedin Consort & John Butt
J.S. Bach: Magnificat & Christmas Cantata
2016 Gramophone Award Nominee
5 stars - Performance / 5 stars - Sound
'...undeniably compelling...the organ preluding engineers an undeniable theatricality - especially when Butt's magisterial account of the Magnificat fugue yields without pause to the quivering, ecstatic joy of BWV 243a's opening chorus.' BBC Music Magazine
Choice: 'The Magnificat itself is exciting, fresh and faultlessly paced...The sound is a treat for the ear; the vocal soloists are lucid and distinctive, so that altogether this vital performance is not just a genuinely fascinating new slant on a familiar masterpiece - but a joyous re-encounter with an old friend.' Gramophone
5 stars - 'Another bull's-eye hit from John Butt's Dunedin Consort... brilliantly done.' The Observer
5 stars - '...yet another astonishing triumph...the musicianship is exquisite; the emotional impact is immediate. This is world class.' The Scotsman
Recording of the Month: 'Top of my 2015 Christmas list: outshines just about every other recording of the Magnificat and the cantata.' MusicWeb International
Disc of the Week: 'It's an absolute joy - far too good to keep for Christmas although if I have my way I'll be reliving Bach's first Leipzig Christmas somewhere in London on the 25th of December thanks to this fine new recording.' BBC Radio 3 'CD Review'