Bach: Mass in B minor; Magnificat

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

WORKS: Mass in B minor; Magnificat
PERFORMER: Rachel Yakar, Jennifer Smith (soprano), Birgit Finnilä (alto), Anthony Rolfe Johnson (tenor), Philippe Huttenlocher, José van Dam (bass); Lausanne Vocal & Instrumental Ensemble/Michel Corboz
CATALOGUE NO: 0630-13732-2 ADD (1981)
It’s very agreeable to listen to this sort of performance every so often, however much received ideas of Bach interpretation have moved on since 1979. The modern instruments are played with impeccable fluency, while the contribution of the smallish choir is enthusiastic, occasionally rough, and features heavily accentuated runs (now regarded as the height of bad taste). The soloists are a mixed bunch, but top marks to Anthony Rolfe Johnson and a wooden spoon to Birgit Finnilä. Corboz’s occasional rhythmic unsteadiness is more of a hindrance in the Magnificat. Stephen Maddock