Bach: Cantata ‘Christen, ätzet diesen Tag’, BWV 63; Sanctus in D, BWV 238; Magnificat in E flat, BWV 243a

COMPOSERS: Bach
LABELS: L’OISEAU-LYRE
WORKS: Cantata ‘Christen, ätzet diesen Tag’, BWV 63; Sanctus in D, BWV 238; Magnificat in E flat, BWV 243a
PERFORMER: Catherine Bott, Elizabeth Scholl (soprano), Christopher Robson (countertenor), Paul Agnew, Andrew King (tenor), Michael George (bass); New London Consort/Philip Pickett
CATALOGUE NO: 452 920-2

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Philip Pickett’s A Bach Christmas is a bit of a let-down. Partly it’s a matter of poor presentation: yes, all three works are taken from Bach’s Christmas services for 1723, as the booklet says, but why not also say that this was his first year as Kantor of St Thomas’s and that the Magnificat was specially composed for the occasion?

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The performance itself is not so special: if you bought last year’s Christmas issue of BBC Music Magazine, you already have a much livelier reading from New College, Oxford.