, June 2013
The playing is uniformly stylish and pleasing. In particular there are some excellent obbligato contributions, notably from the oboist in ‘Ich will bei meinem Jesu wachen’ and from the violinist in ‘Erbarme dich’…I greatly enjoyed the instrumental side of this performance.
The singing also gives much pleasure. Fischer has a fine team of aria soloists, among whom Ingebord Danz is outstanding. Every one of her solos is sung with lovely tone, a fine sense of line and great poise. Soprano Maria Espada offers committed singing…the solo flute is superb…The other aria soloists all do well.
Peter Harvey is a dignified and expressive Christus. His voice seems to me to have just the right degree of weight…He sings all his recitatives most intelligently…His expressive style and evenly produced voice give great pleasure; the gamba player supports him splendidly.
As the Evangelist, Mark Padmore is simply outstanding. His narration draws the listener in and he weights every syllable—and every pause—beautifully. His voice mixes plangency with an inner steel that is an ideal combination for an Evangelist. He’s often very moving…Padmore is surely one of the finest Evangelists of our day.
The chorus work is very good. The Netherlands Radio Choir numbers about forty singers and they are precise and accomplished in everything they do…Overall…Bach’s choral music is well served. The National Children’s Choir make a fine contribution.
Fischer paces Bach’s music very well and conducting the work is clearly an experience that means quite a lot to him. I’d describe his way with the music as essentially lyrical and reflective. Overall, I found Fischer’s direction of the score was convincing and stylish.
The sound on these DVDs is very good and the camera work is good and unfussy. The camera direction is, in the best sense of the word, straightforward and the viewer’s attention is never distracted by gimmickry or by inapposite shots.
I enjoyed this version of Bach’s masterpiece very much. These DVDs are well worth seeking out. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review