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Penguin Guide, January 2009

Recorded in Suntory Hall, Tokyo, on 28 July 2000—the day marking the 250th anniversary of Bach’s death—this is an outstanding version on DVD of the St John Passion, a tribute to the work of Masaaki Suzuki in Japan. The interpretation remains very similar to Suzuki’s earlier CD account on BIS, with fresh, light textures and generally brisk speeds which yet allow for depth of feeling, and the sense of occasion is irresistible. Only Gerd Türk as the Evangelist is presented as a soloist in front of the choir, giving an achingly beautiful performance, with his profound involvement all the more evident when seen as well as heard. Türk also sings the tenor arias, and the other soloists, all first rate, also have double roles, singing in the sixteen-strong choir (4-4-4-4) before stepping forward when needed as soloists: Stephan MacLeod singing Christus as well as the bass arias, Chiyuki Urano singing Pilate and other incidental solos, Robin Blaze a superb alto soloist and the ravishing Midori Suzuki in the two soprano arias.

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3:04:29 AM, 3 August 2015
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