Reviews: Bach B Minor Mass Aug 2014

The Herald review
Miranda Heggie

Returning to Canongate Kirk for their annual Fringe performance of Bach's B Minor Mass, Ludus Baroque took their audience on a sublime and impassioned voyage through the array of musical landscapes in what is widely regarded as one of J S Bach's greatest works.

Under the baton of Richard Neville-Towle, the chamber orchestra of period instrumentalists, joined by 19 singers handpicked by chorus-master Will Dawes, brought a kaleidoscopic range of light and shade to Bach's polyphony. Ranging from jubilance in the Gloria in excelsis Deo to anguish in the Crucifixus etiam pro nobis the text of the mass was wonder-fully evoked through the music.

With a stunning quartet of soloists, soprano Anna Dennis's sweet, honeyed hues made a compelling blend with counter-tenor Andrew Radley in their duet in the Christe eleison, while baritone William Berger sang with a strong yet tender timbre in his solo arias. Tenor soloist Ed Lyon gave a beautiful, haunting rendition of the Benedictus in what was an exciting and uplifting performance, which proved Ludus Baroque a truly splendid exponent of early music in Britain today.