Hugh Canning
The Sunday Times
December 2015

It's Christmas 1723, Bach's first in Leipzig, and the new Thomaskantor has prepared a seasonal spectacular for his other curch, St Nicholas's—his celebratory Magnificat with trumpets and timps, preceded by the cantata Christen, äztet diesen Tag. Butt's reconstruction of a yuletide Vespers begins with a Gabrieli motet, and he intersperses cantata movements with organ preludes, anthems and hymns for a 'congregation' of 50-plus voices. His quintet of soloists are brilliant illusionists, sounding like a crowd in 'Omnes generationes'.