Arvo Pärt: Passio with Irish National Chamber Choir and Paul Hillier, Belfast

www.culturenorthernireland.org, 26 march 2013

Bass-baritone Jakob Bloch Jesperen stands out particularly for his nobly expressive account of Jesus. His singing is an object lesson in how to let the words convey their own implicit drama, without resorting to the kind of over-projection and mannerisms often resorted to on operatic stages.
Jespersen's inflection of 'Mulier, ecce filius tuus' ('Woman, behold thy son') at the work's conclusion is movingly poised and dignified. The extraordinary extension of note-values Pärt suddenly imparts to the single word 'Sitio' ('I thirst') is also made to yield a depth of emotion and suffering belying the superficial simplicity of the musical gesture.
Terry Blain

Bach: St. John Passion with Ars Nova and Paul Hillier

Information, 21 March 2012

Jesus was sung by Jakob Bloch Jespersen, also he intensely engaged, prepared to the fingertips, with a voice like a prince.  The bas aria before the crucifixion, the encouragement to haste to Golgatha, was carried on the wings of faith, so to speak, a flying tempo, Jakob Bloch Jespersens lithe coloraturas in carefully dozed degrees of strength, and the choir as a continually growing crowd with the monomaniacal repeated “Wohin”.
Valdemar Lønsted

Politiken, 20 March 2012

With the bass Jakob Bloch Jespersen we got, especially in the second part, a focused and masterful Jesus.
Thomas Michelsen

Kristligt Dagblad, 20 March 2012

The bass Jakob Bloch Jespersen was a very convincing and moving Jesus.
Peter Dürrfeld

Berlinske Tidende, 20 March 2012

An always movable saviour in shape of the bass Jakob Bloch Jepsersen – like a bear that jumps around like a squirrel.
Søren Schausser

Aarhus Stifttidende, 17 March 2012

As Jesus, the bass Jakob Bloch Jespersen was very convincing in a warm presentation of the key figure.
Ole Staarup

The Messiah in Copenhagen

Gregersdh.dk, 9 december 2011

Uvejret sørger bassen Jacob Bloch Jespersen for. Med ham kan Mogens Dahl – kapelmesteren for denne blomstrende opførelse af ’Messias’ – få kerneydelsen maximeret derhen, hvor vi ikke bare fornemmer, men direkte oplever ’Messias’ som opera. For så vidt som det formelt oratoriemæssige præg får lige den tand ekstra, der bringer os på sceniske og teatralske bølgelænger. ’I will shake the heavens and the earth’ synger denne bas med et frigjort raseri og koloraturerne rullende som klippestykker i tornado ned fra bjergene. Som han senere i 2. del synger ’Why do the nations so furiously rage together’, som var det en forbitret kommentar til de øjeblikkelige forhandlinger i Bruxelles.

Jeg tror ikke, der er løgn, når jeg siger, at Jacob Bloch med så determineret og målbevidste formuleringer opfylder Mogens Dahls ønsker om at bringe ’Messias’ et sted hen, hvor handling, lys og mørke, ekspressionistisk udtryksfuldhed er det væsentlige – ikke for at føre værket til de bravouragtige, larmende fuldtoneopførelser, vi kender fra visse dyrkere af ’Hallelujah’-korets triumf som normen for det samlede værk, men næsten lige modsat: Med sin kammermusikalske gennemsigtighed og intensitet at bringe os helt tæt på skabelseshistoriens, korsfæstelsens og dommedagens rystende virkelighed.

Guidelinen er Dahls og Blochs Ariadne-tråd til målet. Om det er Gud, Kristus, Buddha eller Apollon, der står der ved målstregen, kan vel være det samme. Selvom det nok ikke var det for Händel.

Vi, der bevæger os ud i december-ruskeriet, er i hvert fald usårlige: ’Messias’ er hjemme.

Gregers Dirchenck-Holmfeld

Kristeligt Dagblad, 9 December 2011

The bass Jakob Bloch Jespersen made a fine vocal and dramatic performance, particularly in the fine last aria.

Peter Dürfeld

Politiken, 9 December 2011

Bass Jakob Bloch Jespersen stepped forward with great concentration, reminding of a boxer entering the ring, and delivered the energetic "Why Do the Nations", so it just sat perfectly as it should.

Thomas Michelsen

Information, 9 December 2011

Jakob Bloch Jesepersen was an excellent soloist and was the only one to sing without holding a score. It gave him a physical freedom in relation to the music and to the audience. He has a light bass voice, quick and lithe which one could fully enjoy in the wonderful furious aria "Why Do the Nations".

Valdemar Lønsted

Berlingske, 9 December 2011

The prize goes to Jakob Bloch Jesperesen - his "Why Do the Nations" alone is not heard better in our part of the world.

Søren Schauser

Jyllands-Posten, 8 December 2011

Bass Jakob Bloch Jespersen was superior and precise. With vocal power, musical expression and physical surplus he let his solo arias roll.

Christine Christiansen

Bach: St. Matthew Pasion, with Aalborg Symphony Ochestra and Steven Layton

Nordjyske Stiftstidende, 23 April 2011

The bass Jakob Bloch Jespersen, in the important role as Jesus, was outstanding and delivered with his beautiful timbre the part with a presence and calmness, which was panacean.  

Tore Mortensen

Buxtehude: Scandinavian Cantatas - Recording from Dacapo

Klassik.com, 2 january 2011

Paul Hillier führt in seinem Theatre of Voices versierte Vokalisten zusammen: Die beiden Soprane Else Torp und Bente Vist, den Altisten William Purefoy, die Tenöre Adam Riis und Johan Linderoth sowie die voluminösen Bass Jakob Bloch Jespersen. Sie alle verfügen über klare, technisch sehr solide basierte Stimmen, die entsprechend ihrem Register eine jeweils typische, deutlich profilierte Klangprägung aufweisen. Die Vokalisten formen fein balancierte Ensembles, lösen sich aber auch mit großer Souveränität solistisch aus diesem Kontext."

Dr. Matthias Lange

Guardian - The Observer, 24 October 2010

"Paul Hillier and his Theatre of Voices breathe new life into this stimulating but neglected 17th-century repertoire, aided by the splendidly crisp TOV band. Soprano Else Torp, countertenor William Purefoy and bass Jakob Bloch Jespersen shine among the singers. Highly recommended."

Stephen Pritchard

Medea - Opera performance, Copenhagen

Information, 15 April 2010

"Medea's threat of revenge is constructed physically in the music with a bloody noxiousness increased by the bass Jakob Bloch Jespersen."

Anne Middelbo

Schütz: Johannes-Passion - Recording from Dacapo 

Klassik.com, 23 June 2010 

"Jakob Bloch Jespersen kontrolliert seine voluminösen Mittel deutlich und wirkt damit harmonischer als noch in der Lukas-Passion von 2009."

Dr. Matthias Lange

Kristeligt Dagblad, 7 April 2010

"Jakob Bloch Jespersen shows once again, that he is one of the best basses of this country, in his role as Jesus in the St. John Passion."

Jakob Holm

Dansk Musik Tidsskrift, 18 April 2010

"Jakob Bloch Jespersen sings the words of Jesus with a warm and full bass, controlled and neutral."

Mette Stig Nielsen

Weill: Berliner Requiem - Recording from Glossa

Classica, April 2010

"Mais la direction ample de Paul Hillier fait toute la différence, car avec lui le Requiem s'embrase, avec un mention spéciale aux deux solistes, le ténor Ivan Goossens et la basse Jakob Bloch Jespersen."

Franck Mallet

Schütz: Matthæus-Passion - Garnisons Kirke, København

Berlingske Tidende, 19 March 2010

"...when Jesus in the shape of Jakob Bloch Jespersen cries out his "Eli, Eli lama asabtani?"... One has never heard a person sing louder. Fear arises in the stomach, but it soon turns into a smile. It's an indescribable moment. This may very well become the most concerning concert of this spring."

Søren Schauser

Politiken, 20 March 2010

"The two main characters - Julian Podger as Matthew in shape of a tenor and the young bass Jakob Bloch Jespersen as the crucified - had so much dramatic sense, that even very small entries worked well."

Henrik Friis

Schütz: Weinachtshistorie - Recording from Dacapo

BBC Music Magazine, 1 February 2010

"The performance is first-rate throughout. Natural, tractable voices create characterful images in the Christmas Story, Else Torp an ethereal angel and Jakob Bloch Jespersen a sneering Herod."

George Pratt

Opera News, August 2010

"Jakob Bloch Jespersen's insinuating bass-baritone enlivens the proceedings with his cameo as Herodes."

Joanne Sydney Lessner 

Gramophone, August 2010

"Jakob Bloch Jespersen’s regal Herod is frighteningly persuasive and plausible."

Schütz: Johannes-Passion - Garnisons Kirke, Copenhagen

Politiken, April 2009

"Jakob Bloch Jespersens bass voice sounded strong and slender in the role as Jesus."

Thomas Michelsen

Schütz: Lukas-Passion - Recording from Dacapo

OPTAKT, April 2009

"The Bass Jakob Bloch Jespersen is noble and saved as Jesus. An intense ascetic experience, that one should hear in one bit"

Jens Cornelius

Berlingske Tidende, 13 March 2009

"Ars Nova Copenhagen and soloists preach brilliantly and have made the worlds best recording of Schtz St. Lukes Passion"

Søren Schauser


"Ars Nova sings with a an outstanding control and great beauty. Just clear, simple and often unison singing. Cool and refreshing like spring water. The tenor Johan Linderoth as evangelist and Jakob Bloch Jepsersen as Jesus are both excellent soloists."

BBC Music Magazin

"The bass Jakob Bloch Jespersen is finely cast as Jesus, his voice and range sonorous and his pacing thoughtful and restrained."

George Pratt

Gramophone, September 2009

First-Rate Recording - Paul Hillier delivers a first-rate recording to launch a promising Schtz series. "The excellent sound recording has an attractive amount of reverberation which is shrewdly manipulated by Johan Linderoth and Jakob Bloch Jespersen, who never slip under pitch or lose lustre during the intoning, and are careful to remain sensitive and alive to the text."

Kristeligt Dagblad, 4 March 2009

"The two main characters the evangelist and Jesus are sung by the tenor Johan Linderoth and the bass-baritone Jakob Bloch Jespersen. The two voices suit each other beautifully and both are satisfactory with fine phrasing and clear articulation."

Story of a Mother - Opera performance, Copenhagen

Information, 19 Januar 2009

"The Bass-baritone Jakob Bloch Jespersen lets his voice reach the bottom of the underworld with a devilish calmness, without loosing neither diction, nor focus. Come here, and worship opera singers who know master acting."

Arvo Pärt: Miserere - Sonning Prize Concert 2008, Copenhagen

Jyllands Posten, 24 May 2008

"Convincing soloists with the forward moving bass Jakob Bloch Jespersen in front with sharp leads and measured temperament in the main piece of the evening: Miserere"

Henrik Friis

Schütz: Johannes-Passion - Christians Kirke, Copenhagen

Berlingske Tidende, 6 April 2004

How dramatic it was! The world famous Paul Elliott as evangelist and the young Copenhagener Jakob Bloch Jespersen were equally convincing. The word became flesh. One wanted to go home in silence. People cried."

Søren H. Schauser