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A Choral Year With Bach / Suzuki, Bach Collegium Japan

Bach,J.s. / Bach Collegium Japan / Suzuki
Release Date: 09/28/2010 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 1951  
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Number of Discs: 1 
Length: 1 Hours 12 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

To be taken in big, healthily enjoyable draughts.

This generously filled disc amounts to a choral sampler from the highly regarded BIS cycle of the entire cantatas of J.S. Bach from the Bach Collegium Japan led by Masaaki Suzuki. Potential purchasers should note that this compilation is also included in the boxed set ‘Bach and Beyond’ on BIS-CD-9036/39. [ A time limited edition]

Masaaki Suzuki has created a programme of some of his personal favourites among the choral movements from Bach’s cantatas. Founded in 1990, the Bach Collegium Japan celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2010 and the 15th anniversary of the start of the cantata cycle in 1995. The concept of the programme is to follow the
Read more Lutheran liturgical calendar, beginning with Advent and ending with the Feast of the Reformation. In this way the CD covers the entire range of highlights of a church year. The range includes a joyous celebration of Christmas in Unser Mund sei voll Lachens, which begins with a rather stately chunk of the Orchestral Suite No.4 but launches into some marvellously crisp and well articulated choral singing. Emotional depths are plunged in the gorgeous Kommt, ihr Töchter from the St Matthew Passion, which is suitably heavy in its tread, though others have created as much sense of suffering with more forward momentum.

Masaaki Suzuki gives his reasons for choosing these particular movements in the booklet notes, including one or two enigmatic comments which leave us panting for more. For instance, Christ lag in Todesbanden, the first recoding of the series causes him to “recall an altercation I had at that time with the producer, Robert von Bahr!” Without further elaboration we’re left wanting to phone someone for answers – what was it all about?!

This is a well considered collection and filled with contrast despite being entirely choral. There are plenty of interesting orchestral moments and nice contrasts of texture and content, and you are sure to find your own favourites among the tracks: I was for instance glad to see the lovely Jesu, der du meine Seele with its wonderful chromatic lines and harmonies. The Liturgical year finishes with Bach’s elegant and inspiring setting of Martin Luther’s hymn Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, and Suzuki pushes the content of the CD to its limits with two pieces ‘Beyond the Church Year’, the very famous Jesus bleibet meine Freude, and rounding off the entire programme with the superb music and heartfelt message of the Donna Nobis Pacem from the Mass in B Minor.

This is a very nice CD to have around, and while collectors of the Cantata series and other releases from Suzuki’s recordings for BIS may not feel the need to double up on repertoire highlights this is the kind of disc which does very well as a pocket companion for car journeys or riotous bouts of festive cooking at home. This is not a SACD disc as with most of the other releases in the full series, but still has no caveats in terms of sound. The main warning to listeners yet to embark on a collection of Bach’s Cantatas is that, after hearing this, they are likely to be inspired to seek further – a major investment, as the finished project is likely to run to 55 volumes. The vocal qualities of the Collegium Japan are always very fine, and while the non-vibrato string sound can seem a little thin the orchestral accompaniments are always clean and well balanced. Suzuki may not always go in for the swiftest of tempi, but neither is he stodgy or mannered, and there are no weak tracks on this feast of Bach. Drink it all in, and be spiritually cleansed and glad to be alive.

-- Dominy Clements, MusicWeb International
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 62: no 1, Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724; Leipzig, Germany 
2.
Unser Mund sei voll Lachens, BWV 110: no 1, Unser Mund sei voll Lachens by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Leipzig, Germany 
3.
Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, BWV 190: no 1, Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
4.
Sie werden aus Saba alle kommen, BWV 65: Sie werden aus Saba alle kommen by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
5.
Alles nur nach Gottes Willen, BWV 72: no 1, Alles nur nach Gottes Willen by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
6.
Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin, BWV 125: no 1, Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Leipzig, Germany 
7.
Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244: no 1, Kommt, ihr Töchter by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: ?1727; Leipzig, Germany 
8.
Christ lag in Todesbanden, BWV 4: no 2, Christ lag in Todesbanden by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708; Weimar, Germany 
9.
Erschallet, ihr Lieder, erklinget ihr Saiten!, BWV 172: no 1, Erschallet, ihr Lieder, erklinget ihr by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1714; Weimar, Germany 
10.
Die Elenden sollen essen, BWV 75: no 1, Die Elenden sollen essen by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
11.
Erforsche mich, Gott, und erfahre mein Herz, BWV 136: no 1, Erforsche mich, Gott by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
12.
Herr, deine Augen sehen nach dem Glauben, BWV 102: Herr, deine Augen by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726; Leipzig, Germany 
13.
Jesu, der du meine Seele, BWV 78: no 1, Jesu, der du meine Seele by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724; Leipzig, Germany 
14.
Liebster Gott, wenn werd' ich sterben?, BWV 8: no 1, Liebster Gott, wenn werd' ich sterben? by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: 09/24/1724 
15.
Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, BWV 80: Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1744; Leipzig, Germany 
16.
Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147: Jesu bleibet meine Freude "Jesu, joy of man's desiring" by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Leipzig, Germany 
17.
Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Dona nobis pacem by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1747-1749; Leipzig, Germany 

Featured Sound Samples

Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, BWV 190: I. Chorus: "Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied"
Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott, BWV 80: I. Chorus: "Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott"

Sound Samples

Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 61: Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland
Unser Mund sei voll Lachens, BWV 110: Unser Mund sei voll Lachens
Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, BWV 190: Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied
Sie werden aus Saba alle kommen, BWV 65: Sie werden aus Saba alle kommen
Alles nur nach Gottes Willen, BWV 72: Alles nur nach Gottes Willen
Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin, BWV 125: Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Kommt, ihr Tochter, helft mir klagen
Christ lag in Todes Banden, BWV 4: Versus 2: Duet: Den Tod niemand zwingen kunnt
Erschallet, ihr Lieder, BWV 172: Erschallet, ihr Lieder, erklinget, ihr Saiten
Die Elenden sollen essen, BWV 75: Part I: Die Elenden sollen essen
Erforsche mich, Gott, und erfahre mein Herz, BWV 136: Erforsche mich, Gott, und erfahre mein Herz
Herr, deine Augen sehen nach dem Glauben, BWV 102: Part I: Herr, deine Augen sehen nach dem Glauben
Jesu, der du meine Seele, BWV 78: Jesu, der du meine Seele
Liebster Gott, wenn werd ich sterben, BWV 8: Liebster Gott, wenn werd ich sterben?
Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, BWV 80: Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott
Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147: Jesus bleibet meine Freude
Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Dona nobis pacem

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Awesome November 15, 2013 By steven howes (Winnipeg, MB) See All My Reviews "I bought this as part of the Bach and Beyond box set. This was probably my favourite of the 10 discs. There wasn't a single piece on this CD that I didn't like. the recording was crisp and clear and the voices and music were well balanced, none over shadowing the other. From the 10 or so BIS recordings I have that seems to be standard. Each CD perfectly done." Report Abuse
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