Bach Christmas Oratorio Review – BBC Radio 3 – Record Review

  ‘It’s exciting. It’s a real authentic sound. Joanne Lunn is a standout soprano. She’s precise and she’s warm and she makes the Echo Aria in the Fourth Cantata work…Her colleague Matthew Brook (bass), has exactly the weight and graininess for the rollicking trumpet aria in the First Cantata. It’s been well and intelligently recorded.’ BBC Radio 3 ‘Record Review’ (3 December 2016)

Bach Christmas Oratorio Review – All Music

Butt’s solution is both clever and musically solid. Further, his mostly Scottish soloists add personality to the music and are worth hearing in themselves…This is a performance in which intelligent, small decisions cohere into a persuasive larger whole.’

AllMusic (2 December 2016)

Bach Christmas Oratorio Review – MusicWeb International

  Recording of the Month:

This Christmas Oratorio is another mightily successful feather in [Butt’s] cap. His small but perfectly formed team of experts, make a crack team when it comes to this music…there is a tremendous sense of excitement in this performance. A marvellous seasonal gift.’

MusicWeb International (Simon Thompson, 2 December 2016)

Full review


Bach Christmas Oratorio Review – Infodad

This [recording] is transcendent, in the sense that it encapsulates the meaning of Christmas…there are ample reasons to turn again and again [to it] for enjoyment inextricably woven with enlightenment.’ InfoDad (1 December 2016)

Bach Christmas Oratorio Review – Early Music Review

Early Music Review

John Butt’s Christmas Oratorio with the Dunedins is splendid, from the crisp and perfectly tuned opening timpani strokes onward, and I hope it will sweep all before it as this Christmas’ “must-have” for all EMR readers.’ Early Music Review (15 November 2016)

Full Review

Bach Christmas Oratorio Review – Scotsman

John Butt’s Dunedin Consort does it again. This red hot interpretation of the six cantatas that make up Bach’s Christmas Oratorio holds the attention from the word go. The opening chorus, Jauchzet frohlocket, hits you like a lightning bolt, Butt’s infectious energy and exhilarating musicianship infusing Bach’s joyous music with utterly compelling brilliance.’ The Scotsman (24 October 2016)

Full Review


Bach Christmas Oratorio Review – Europadisc

Featured Album In Newsletter & Review: ‘Above all, it’s the sense of committed yet un-posturing devotion and sheer joy that makes this performance so extraordinarily successful. Beautifully recorded and presented, and fastidiously researched, it’s hard to imagine the Christmas Oratorio being better served than this.’ Europadisc (21 October 2016)

Bach Christmas Oratorio Review – The Herald Scotland

This absolutely essential recording is seventh heaven.’ The Herald Scotland (21 October 2016)

Full Review

Monteverdi Vespers – Lammermuir Festival

The Scotsman *****

[Butt] brought an astonishing richness and smoothness to his Dunedin forces’ sound… By the walls of sound in the closing Magnificat, the Vespers felt overwhelming in their grandeur, but there was something to savour in every moment. It is hard to imagine a more exquisite, deeply felt performance.


Full review here

Monteverdi Vespers – Lammermuir Festival

The Herald *****


This richness and variety shone through in this superbly stylish and joyful performance from Dunedin Consort and His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts directed from the organ by John Butt. The Vespers is a lengthy work, but here delivered with the Consort’s trademark energy, the momentum was never allowed to falter… All told this was an exhilarating performance and it was rapturously received by the capacity audience in St Mary’s.


Full review here

Magnificat Recording – AllMusic


the end result is a Bach performance that is original in concept and satisfying in details.

Bach Violin Concertos Recording – AllMusic

Audio Video Club of Atlanta – Phil Muse

In one of the most beautiful-sounding releases Linn has ever given us (and that’s saying a lot) John Butt directs the Dunedin Consort in accounts of the violin concertos of J.S. Bach that crave your attention even in a field that has been gleamed many times before. Relaxed motion, a nice feeling of swing, and the really beautiful sound of the baroque instruments played by the soloists, all contribute to the overall impression of charm allied with sensual beauty.

Full Review

Sophie Bevan Review – Baroque fireworks lit by natural spark

The Guardian – Kate Molleson

There’s something brilliantly robust and natural about her singing: no artifice, no fuss, a healthy wit, a refreshing kind of virtuosity that’s grounded and almost casual but still totally dazzling. Her voice is bigger and richer than we’re used to hearing with the Dunedins, but it works.
[…] The playing was plenty warm, with violinist Cecilia Bernardini trading beautifully shaped solo lines with recorder players Pamela Thorby and Catherine Latham in Bach’s fourth Brandenburg concerto.

Full review

Magnificat Recording – Early Music Today, Editors Choice

Early Music Today – Editor’s Choice *****

Rarely, very rarely, a recording comes along that because of its content and level of performance seems to be hors concours. This is just such a recording

John Butt makes Handel’s Messiah for the children

12th December 2015 – The Scotsman, Ken Walton

FROM Glasgow to Seville, the indefatigable John Butt is putting on four productions of Handel’s Messiah this month, including one aimed at children.