Read our latests reviews
25 October 2013
Butt's impeccably prepared Bach tastes more like a warming bowl of chocolate
by Graham RicksonRead more
04 October 2013
[High Resolution Download Version Review]
You say that, as a classical collector, there are at least 74 recordings that you need to buy before investing in yet another version of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos? That you already have a version of choice (possibly Alessandrini's or Gardiner's most recent account), or maybe several, that aren't likely to be superseded in your affections any time soon? Listen to a few excerpts from this set on the Linn Records website and you may decide that there is still room on your culture shelf for one more set.[...]But the sound of the Studio Master recordings is absolutely spectacular, with the presence of the instruments almost tangible.
01 October 2013
'Melodic ideas are beautifully punctuated and phrased, vibrato is used strictly ornamentally, and tempos strike my sensibilities as pretty well ideal.'
"it is the sixth concerto, though, that has stolen my heart with its ravishing viola playing, intimately expressive second movement and lightly, crisply bowed finale."
Nicholas AndersonRead more
01 October 2013
‘…after the timeless, instrumental brilliance of Johann Sebastian Bach. And following their critically acclaimed recording of the John Passion earlier this year, the Dunedin Consort has turned to the Brandenburg Concertos.’
‘I found that to be a beautifully balanced performance that works in a way that works across all six sets of Brandenburgs in this new set from the Dunedin Consort directed by John Butt. They weren’t going for the extreme tempos as some of the Baroque specialists who’ve recorded them in recent years. The soloists are excellent and well integrated with the rest of the ensemble so they weave in and out instead of standing forward for the whole thing, even the trumpeter in the second concerto, David Blackadder. Decoration is sensitively applied. The recording itself is rich, detailed and has impressive depth in the bass; it’s a really nice feeling. If you’ve found the impetuous pace of some ensembles a little over the top, then this intimate, measured and yet always joyful appraisal of the Brandenburgs ought to work as a real refresher.’
Andrew McGregorRead more
30 September 2013
Notwhithstanding the distinguished Brandenburg discography, this set is nothing short of sensational.
Awards Issue 2013Read more
15 September 2013
CRISP, freshly thought and very carefully realised without loss of apparent spontaneity - that's my take on the brand-new Linn recording of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos from John Butt and the Dunedin Consort, their first all-instrumental recording for the label.
Michael TumeltyRead more
11 September 2013
As an example of what modern baroque practice and top-class musicianship can bring to these hugely familiar works, this set is exceptional'
Andrew ClementsRead more
22 December 2012
Kate Molleson - The Guardian
The Dunedin Consort's celebrated Messiah seems to get better every year. Not more honed or polished, necessarily, but more daring, more theatrical and even more sensual. With a period-instrument band of 15 and a chorus of just 12 singers – and that included the soloists – this was as intimate a take on Handel's oratorio as you're likely to get. But the effect is far from whispered or delicate. Such a stripped-down aesthetic means there's nowhere to hide, no buffers for shaky ensemble or intonation. But that's not a problem, either: the crisp, robust responses from players and singers make a long evening fly by. Above all, Dunedin's director, John Butt, recognises the operatic quality of Handel's writing. The opening Sinfony was a long-bowed and luscious scene-setter. Comfort Ye was sultry, For Unto Us was cheekily straight, He Was Despised gave quiet space to its anguish, and in many of the triple-time numbers – And the Glory of the Lord, The Trumpet Shall Sound – Butt really tugged at the downbeat to give it a swinging feel. His knack of interlocking consecutive movements into one long sweep makes for gripping momentum. "Choruses," he reasons in his programme note, "such as And the Glory of the Lord and And He Shall Purify, follow on directly from the preceding arias, just as the conjunction 'and' would imply in the biblical texts concerned." In some Messiahs you might be tempted to let your mind wander between the big tunes; here's there no option but to keep up.Read more
27 November 2012
18 September 2012
17th September 2012
Professor John Butt is of that rare breed: a music academic who is also a genuinely thrilling performer. As one of the world's foremost Bach scholars, he brings vigorous insight to the period ensemble he conducts from the harpsichord, the Edinburgh-based Dunedin Consort. But there's flamboyancy and pathos in his musicianship, too, that always cuts to the heart of a work's emotional drama.Read more