JS Bach: Magnificat & Christmas Cantata 63

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JS Bach: Magnificat & Christmas Cantata 63


Gramophone Awards 2016

Finalist - Baroque Vocal

Gramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - December 2015

BBC Music Magazine

Choral & Song Choice



Catalogue No:




Release date:

16th Oct 2015




78 minutes




Hybrid Multi-channel
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JS Bach: Magnificat & Christmas Cantata 63

Reconstruction of Bach's first Christmas Vespers in Leipzig

Bach, J S:

Magnificat in E flat major, BWV243a

Chorale Prelude BWV600 'Gott, durch deine Guete'

Cantata BWV63 'Christen, aetzet diesen Tag'

Gabrieli, G:

Hodie Christus natus est a 10

Julia Doyle (soprano), Joanne Lunn (soprano), Clare Wilkinson (alto), Nicholas Mulroy (tenor), Matthew Brook (bass)

Dunedin Consort, John Butt



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This is the premiere recording of J.S. Bach's Magnificat heard for the first time within its original liturgical context, alongside the beautiful Christmas Cantata. The first 1000 copies of the disc will also include a free bonus disc of highlights from the Consort’s Gramophone Award-winning seasonal favourite ‘Handel: Messiah’.

Dunedin Consort recreates Bach's first Christmas at Leipzig (Vespers in the Nikolaikirche, 25 December 1723); the recording opens with a Gabrieli motet and includes organ preludes and a seasonal congregational chorale.

Director John Butt has given listeners an interpretation that will provide a refreshing outlook on this masterpiece and will show the Magnificat in a completely new light.This recording marks the return of Dunedin Consort's star-studded cast including, Nicholas Mulroy, Matthew Brook, Joanne Lunn and Clare Wilkinson plus newcomer Julia Doyle.

About the Artist:

Butt's liturguical reconstruction of Bach's John Passion was named a Critics Choice by BBC Radio 3 CD Review and Gramophone, as well as being named Recording of the Month by three separate publications.

The Dunedin Consort has established a reputation as one of the finest period performance choirs around, under the direction of prize-winning historical performance specialist John Butt OBE.The multi-award-winning Dunedin Consort has won praise for the natural style of its soloists and renown for the virtuosity of its singers.

In addition to a GRAMMY nomination, Dunedin Consort has won two Gramophone Awards: the 2007 Baroque Vocal Award for Handel: Messiah and the 2014 Choral Award for Mozart: Requiem .Further accolades include: Esther was voted one of the Top 10 Classical Albums of 2012 by The Times, 2011 saw them included in Gramophone's Twenty Greatest Choirs list and its recording of Bach's Matthew Passion was named Building A Library: First Choice by BBC Radio 3 CD Review , whilst Six Brandenburg Concertos was named Gramophone Choice and awarded five stars by both BBC Music and The Guardian.

Giovanni Gabrieli: Hodie Christus natus est à 8, Ch. C8

Hodie Christus natus est à 8, Ch. C8

Johann Sebastian Bach: Das Orgel-Büchlein

No. 2, Gott, durch deine Güte, BWV 600

Johann Sebastian Bach: Christen, ätzet diesen Tag, BWV 63

I. Christen, ätzet diesen Tag

II. O selger Tag!

III. Gott, du hast es wohl gefüget

IV. So kehret sich nun heut

V. Ruft und fleht den Himmel an

VI. Verdoppelt euch demnach

VII. Höchster, schau in Gnaden an

Das Orgel-Büchlein

No. 8, Vom Himmel hoch, BWV 606

Martin Luther: Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch

Vom Himmel hoch

Johann Sebastian Bach: Fuga sopra il Magnificat, BWV 733 (Meine Seele erhebet den Herren)

Fuga sopra il Magnificat, BWV 733 (Meine Seele erhebet den Herren)

Johann Sebastian Bach: Magnificat in E-Flat Major, BWV 243a

I. Magnificat

IIa. Et exsultavit

IIb. Vom Himmel hoch

III. Quia respexit

IV. Omnes generationes

Va. Quia fecit

Vb. Freut euch und jubiliert

VI. Et misericordia

VIIa. Fecit potentiam

VIIb. Gloria in excelsis Deo!

VIII. Deposuit potentes

IXa. Esurientes implevit bonis

IXb. Virga Jesse

X. Suscepit Israel

XI. Sicut locutus est

XII. Gloria

Das Orgel-Büchlein

Puer natus in Bethlehem, BWV 603

Anonymous: Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch

Puer natus in Bethlehem

The Guardian

11th October 2015


“There are interesting textual changes, the playing and singing are terrific, and Butt creates a very convincing congregational hymn with organ flourishes. But the highlight of the disc is the Christmas Cantata 63, brilliantly done with such expressive exuberance that it should have had (but certainly did not) the Leipzigers dancing in the aisles with joy at the arrival of their new Kapellmeister.”

The Scotsman

17th October 2015

“This is yet another astonishing triumph by Professor John Butt and his Dunedin Consort. Scholarly originality is the clincher: a reconstruction of Bach’s first Christmas Vespers in Leipzig with the wonderful Magnificat as central focus...The musicianship is exquisite; the emotional impact is immediate.”

The Observer

11th October 2015

“Another bull’s-eye hit from John Butt’s Dunedin Consort… interesting textual changes, the playing and singing are terrific, and Butt creates a very convincing congregational hymn with organ flourishes… the highlight of the disc is the Christmas Cantata 63, brilliantly done with such expressive exuberance.”

CD Review

24th October 2015

“It’s an absolute joy.”

Early Music Magazine

“a very good example of John Butt’s marriage between arresting scholarship, enormous musicality – the tempi are so naturally right – and pragmatic skills: conceiving and bringing such a complex production to fruition is a huge task, and the whole disc is so coherently musical from the word go. Give it to all your friends for Christmas: this is contextual Bach at its very best.”

MusicWeb International

“This is one of the most enjoyable and stimulating Bach discs to have come my way since … well, since John Butt’s account of the Johannes-Passion. The performance standards are uniformly excellent and the music is life-enhancing… I’m in no doubt that I shall be listening to this superb disc at some stage on Christmas morning.”

Irish Times

“With just 10 voices and an orchestra not quite double that in number (four of them trumpets) the scene is set for music-making that’s lucid and festive, captured in sound that’s both intimate and full. A spirited Christmas celebration with a difference.”

CD Review

24th October 2015

“It’s an absolute joy – far too good to keep for Christmas.”

Gramophone Magazine

December 2015

“Another intriguing and excellently performed project from Butt and his Dunedin Consort...As usual the forces are small-scale, save for two lusty congregational hymns (adorned with enjoyably headstrong organ improvisations). The Magnificat itself is exciting, fresh and faultlessly paced.”

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