Album: Bach, Matthäus Passion, (Decca)

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The Independent Culture

Leipzig owns the St Matthew Passion.

Bach's masterpiece was first performed at the Thomaskirche and although the 19th century revival began in Berlin, Mendelssohn and the Gewandhausorchester cemented its position in the canon. Riccardo Chailly's new recording nods to the weight of tradition yet the purposeful, rosy, Victorian bloom of his orchestra is lightly applied. Tempi are fleet, lilting; the attack of the local boys' choirs sharp and delicate; the voices of the soloists cool and direct.