'Magnificat anima mea Dominum' (My soul praises and glorifies the Lord!): this is how, according to Luke's Gospel, Mary welcomes her cousin Elizabeth. At the time of the iconic Visitation, both women were pregnant. This passage became a permanent part of the Vespers service for Christmas, and has a long musical history. This programme brings together two of the finest settings. Bach wrote his Magnificat for the Thomaskirche in Leipzig in 1723. It was an intense masterpiece packed with concentrated grandeur in which drama and spirituality are in step with one another. The Magnificat by Johann Kuhnau is much less familiar. He was Bach's immediate predecessor as Thomascantor and here combines sensually lyrical arias with choruses full of contrapuntal ingenuity – a true revelation. Under the baton of the up and coming conductor Benjamin Bayl, B'Rock and Vocalconsort Berlin back up a five-member cast of exquisite solo voices.