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Featuring Carolyn Sampson (soprano), Iestyn Davies (countertenor), James Gilchrist (tenor), Peter Harvey (bass) this is a spectacular performance of Bach's choral music led by Matthew Halls.
Originally released in 2011 J.S. Bach: Easter and Ascension Oratorios has been re-issued as part of Linn's ECHO series which offers a second chance to enjoy the best of the label's award-winning catalogue.
This, the second release of the highly anticipated Retrospect Ensemble series, features the Easter Oratorio, one of Bach's best-known oratorios and a monumental work, as well as the Ascension Oratorio. Retrospect Ensemble employs large-scale forces for this recording including four-part choir and orchestra (including timpani). This dynamic recording highlights the skill and brilliance of Bach's writing through the inspired story telling of its star soloists and the passion of the Ensemble.
The Oratorio is a unique genre which is known for its enormous structure and epic tales, often including biblical references. The Easter Oratorio and the Ascension Oratorio featured here, tell stories through four characters: Mary Mother of James, Mary Magdalene, Peter and John, which celebrates the death and resurrection of Jesus at Easter.
4 stars - Classical CD of the Week: ‘Top-drawer Bach throughout, beautifully recorded and documented by Linn.' The Sunday Times
‘Fielding an excellent group of singers and players, and with soloists of such calibre, this is a landmark Bach recording.' Early Music Review
4 stars - ‘A disc to make your heart leap.' The Times
‘The Retrospect Ensemble's orchestral playing and choral singing is of the highest quality...' Gramophone
4 stars - ‘...enjoyably relaxed and unselfconscious performances.' BBC Music Magazine