BACH Weihnachts-Or. Arien Chöre Gardiner 4276532

With John Eliot Gardiner's uniquely open-shouldered and virtuoso Bach performances, the new 'period' generation was transformed in a trice from the mid-1980s. The poetic sensibility and vocal allure of Anthony Rolfe Johnson is as memorable here . . . The solo singing is seamlessly distinguished, from Anne Sofie von Otter's bloom-filled and pliably decorated 'Bereite dich' to the recitative quartet at the end. This is indeed a highly accomplished and consistent reading, one where Bach's sense of imagery is especially keenly developed.