Bach's Passions: La Petite Bande
A refreshing recording, embodying the moving spiritual message of Bach's two Passion oratorios on period Baroque instruments.
Repertoire: St Matthew & St John Passions
Artists: Soloists; La Petite Bande/Leonhardt, Kuijken
Label: DHM RD77848 (5 CDs)
These interpretations from the late 1980s, led by pioneers of the early music movement, stand as a refreshingly honest alternative to the view that Bach’s Passions amount to operas without scenery. Occasional fussy mannerisms aside, Gustav Leonhardt’s St Matthew Passion finely balances drama with music of contemplation. Sigiswald Kuijken’s St John Passion is a star buy, driven by musicians who clearly value the work’s spiritual message.