Samson – BBC Radio 3 Review

Andrew McGregor, BBC Radio 3

As Samson, Joshua Ellicott navigates the tightrope between opera and oratorio really well … That’s one of the joys of Butt’s new recording, revelling in the dramatic colour of Handel’s imaginative scoring.

Listen to the full review here.

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.

Was Bach really a ‘tasteless and chaotic composer’?

 on the Spectator:

It’s just not what you expect to hear on Radio 3 but I happened upon Music Matters on Saturday morning and after playing us a clip from the opening chorus of St Matthew Passion Tom Service pronounced, ‘Bach is a tasteless and chaotic composer.’ I felt as if my ears had been syringed.

Service was actually repeating what one of his guests, the Bach scholar John Butt, had just asserted, as if to verify his intention.

You may want to listen to the actual radio programme for context!

Magnificat – Disc of the Week – BBC Radio 3

Andrew McGregor, BBC Radio 3

My Disc of the Week follows the trend of beginning to think about Christmas before we’ve even made it as far as Halloween or bonfire night. It isn’t our fault though this time I promise – what else are we supposed to do when a new recording is released of the kind of quality as this new one from the Dunedin Consort, in which their music director John Butt reconstructs for us the kind of sounds you might have heard when Bach celebrated his first Christmas day vespers in Leipzig in 1723.

It’s an absolute joy – far too good to keep for Christmas, although if I have my way I’ll be reliving Bach’s first Leipzig Christmas somewhere in London on the 25th of December thanks to this fine new recording.