Album: John Eliot Gardiner, Monteverdi Choir, Bach Motets (Soli Deo Gloria)

 

Taking a detour from their monumental multi-volume presentation of the entire Bach cantatas, John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir here turn their attention to the six Bach motets, which offer the same compelling attractions of fugue and counterpoint as the composer's keyboard works, applied to the more emotive wonders of the human voice, with its varieties of phrasing, elision, etc.

"Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden" opens proceedings in a cascade of interlacing lines, the voices braided in a bouncing play, which reaches hypnotic levels in the eight round-like repetitions of lines in "Komm, Jesu, komm", before the 20-minute "Jesu, mein Freude" furnishes the album's complex centrepiece. Utterly sublime.

Download: Komm, Jesu, komm; Jesu, mein Freude

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