Stephen Rose
Early Music
December 2011

I must declare an interst in this disc; I was an undergraduate at York University where Peter Seymour was one of my teachers. To listen to it is to be transported to one of the Yorkshire Bach Choir's concerts, without having to endure the hard pews in St Michael-le-Belfry (the choir's usual concert venue in York). It features a vibrant and enthusiastic team of vocal soloists (mostly York alumni) while the role of the Evangelist is expertly paced by Charles Daniels. Compared to other recordings, a much smaller string section is used (basically solo strings), giving extra prominence to the woodwind and adding to the incisievness of the string lines in an aria such as 'Ach, mein Sinn'. Also noteworthy is the choir's contribution: the chorales are sung with vigour and with an awareness of an underlying dance metre, thus contributing to the momentum of the Passion narrative. This disc is testimony to the achievements of the Yorkshire Bach Choir and should extend its reputation to those who have never yet been able to hear it in concert.