The instrumental performance is the most satisfying aspect of this recording of Cantatas BWV 57, BWV 152 and BWV 49. But we are not here to admire the Berliner Barock Solisten or soprano Dorothea Röschmann, all gulps and gusts and rain-drenched garden roses. The focus of this disc is the voice, or rather the musical personality, of Thomas Quasthoff. As closely mic-ed as a jazz crooner, he floats, growls and blusters, using diction as the vocal equivalent of magic knickers. No amount of passion can replace a solid technique, but the rare moments of vocal beauty are very beautiful indeed.
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