Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

 
Keyword Search
 
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews



 
See latest reviews of other albums...

The Arts Desk, December 2019

This one is happily among the best… Patrick Grahl gives us a very human Evangelist, and there’s sterling work from soprano Dorothee Mields and alto Elvira Bill. © 2019 The Arts Desk




Gwyn Parry-Jones
MusicWeb International, December 2019

This is clearly a very special issue—J.S. Bach straight from the church in the heart of Leipzig where he crowned his great career. I was privileged to conduct concerts in Leipzig last year, and entering the ‘Thomaskirche’ observed almost immediately the warmth and uncomplicated excellence of the acoustics there. That quality is reflected in this issue, which puts some of the finest young Bach solo singers together with the Thomanerchor—the boys’ choir of the church—and members of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.

So the musicianship on display here is of the highest order, and the whole oratorio is steered with effortless aplomb by the current ‘kantor’—essentially the choir’s conductor and director of music at St. Thomas—Gotthold Schwarz.

The soloists are an outstanding group. Soprano Dorothee Mields sings with unaffected sweetness, and her performance of the ‘echo’ aria ‘Flöst, mein Heiland’ in Cantata 4 is one of the highlights of the discs. This number is one of Bach’s most memorable, with its vocal echo supplied by Clemens Sommerfeld, and the Gewandhaus oboists providing the instrumental ones. © 2019 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Robert Hugill
Planet Hugill, December 2019

BACH, J.S.: Christmas Oratorio (Leipzig St. Thomas Choir, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Gotthold Schwarz) (NTSC) ACC-20479
BACH, J.S.: Christmas Oratorio (Leipzig St. Thomas Choir, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Gotthold Schwarz) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) ACC-10479
BACH, J.S.: Christmas Oratorio (Mields, Bill, Grahl, Leipzig St. Thomas Choir, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Gotthold Schwarz) ACC-30469

This has a nicely balanced lyric quartet of young soloists (Dorothee Mields, soprano, Elvira Bill, alto, Markus Schafer tenor arias, Klaus Hager—bass) plus Patrick Grahl as the Evangelist, with some admirably straight toned singing but what strikes most is the performance of the boys (or rather young men and boys) of the Thomanerchor Leipzig. A large, all male-voice group which gives a distinctive sound to Bach’s choral writing, complemented by a stylish performance from the Leipzig Gewandhuasorchester, all recorded live under the direction of Gotthold Schwarz, the current Thomaskantor. Whilst not period style, Schwarz keeps things moving and keeps textures light, often with a lovely sense of joy in the choruses. Also on DVD. © 2019 Planet Hugill




Uwe Krusch
Pizzicato, December 2019

BACH, J.S.: Christmas Oratorio (Leipzig St. Thomas Choir, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Gotthold Schwarz) (NTSC) ACC-20479
BACH, J.S.: Christmas Oratorio (Leipzig St. Thomas Choir, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Gotthold Schwarz) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) ACC-10479
BACH, J.S.: Christmas Oratorio (Mields, Bill, Grahl, Leipzig St. Thomas Choir, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Gotthold Schwarz) ACC-30469

Cantor Gotthold Schwarz cares for a fresh and often dance-like performance. It has a lightness of touch that should please every listener, making the joyfulness of the music immediately understandable. The special warmth of the Gewandhaus Orchestra is once more truly enchanting.

The vocal soloists also contribute to this overall successful performance. Soprano Dorothee Mields is at home in this repertoire and convinces with a cultivated but at the same time unaffected natural charm.

…This is a well-rounded recording without sharp corners and edges nor superfluous new frills convinces precisely because of this serenity. © 2019 Pizzicato Read complete review



Fiona Maddocks
The Guardian, December 2019

On a grander scale, all six cantatas, known collectively as Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, are performed by the Thomanechor Leipzig with the Gewandhaus Orchestra, conducted by Gotthold Schwarz and recorded live at the St Thomas Church, Leipzig, where it was first performed (Accentus Music; also on DVD). © 2019 The Guardian





Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group