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Peter Loewen
American Record Guide, January 2019

Most impressive in the section marked “New Year, Epiphany, and Annunciation” is Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck’s motet ‘Ab Oriente Venerunt Magi’ for five voices and organ. The counterpoint here is dense but also flamboyant, which gives the music a certain lightness. The program then concludes with Buxtehude’s lively organ setting of ‘Wie Schön Leuchtet der Morgenstern’ performed most delicately by Allan Rasmussen. © 2019 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Johan van Veen
MusicWeb International, August 2018

This is an interesting and compelling collection of pieces for the Christmas season in different styles. Most of Buxtehude's cantatas are pretty well-known, but—as mentioned above—Johann Christoph Bach’s motet is little-known, and that also goes for the pieces by Christian Geist. …Both the singers and the instrumentalists do a fine job here and show great affinity with the idiom of these composers from northern Germany. © 2018 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Ralph Graves
WTJU, December 2017

Paul Hillier is a meticulous director, and his attention to detail shows in the performances and the program. The Theatre of Voices has an exceptionally seamless blend. And they’re all top-notch soloists as well. The program takes the listener through the liturgical season, from Advent through Epiphany with selections to match. And the works are nicely balanced between choral and instrumental.

…there’s a consistency that runs through all these works. Luther was all about clarity, and these works deliver their message in a straightforward fashion. The pulse is always clear, and no matter how artful the counterpoint, the words are never obscured.

In Dulce Jubilo is a well-sung, well-organized program that effectively captures a moment in time. A moment that more than hints of the grandeur that was to come with Bach, Handel, and Telemann. © 2017 WTJU Read complete review



Edward Breen
Gramophone, December 2017

Generally speaking, this vocal line-up is not my favourite of the permutations of this ensemble. The musicianship is, as ever, extraordinary but the balance suffers. Particularly I find the first soprano dominates and the basses sometimes plod against the tide of the instrumental phrasing. The last motet, Ab Oriente venerunt Magi by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562–1621), however, is Theatre of Voices at their level best: tender, blended and deliciously phrased. If you are looking for the Christmas disc of 2017, here it is. © 2017 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone




The Guardian, November 2017

…this is as classy as Christmas albums come: music from an important Swedish archive of northern European baroque music, delivered with razor-sharp clarity by Paul Hillier’s Theatre of Voices and on luminous period instruments. Works are grouped thematically with images of light, dark and wonder underpinning all of them, and special attention given to the elegant and multicoloured music of Dietrich Buxtehude. Elsewhere we get gems by Franz Tunder, Buxtehude’s successor as organist in Lübeck, and a splendid bit of vocal polyphony by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck. © 2017 The Guardian Read complete review





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