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Bach: Cantatas Vol 8 / Gardiner, English Baroque Soloists


Release Date: 05/10/2005 
Label:  Soli Deo Gloria Records   Catalog #: 104   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Mark PadmoreRobin TysonKatherine FugeThomas Guthrie,   ... 
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque SoloistsMonteverdi Choir
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 25 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

The first cantata we hear is BWV 138, another cantata from the first Leipzig cycle and a "highly original experimental work." It opens with a deeply poignant chorus that mixes chorale and recitative. Hard on its heels, separated only by a recitative, comes another chorus that combines chorale and recitative, but this is very different in style from its predecessor. Eventually the mood of the cantata becomes more optimistic and Gardiner and his forces convey this change well.

BWV 51 is a cantata that Gardiner has recorded before, a studio recording from 1983 for Philips. Then his soloists were Emma Kirkby and trumpeter Christian Steele Perkins. His tempi for the outer movements were decidedly on the fast side in 1983
Read more and are pretty similar on this occasion – indeed, his view of the whole cantata seems very consistent. The first movement goes off like a rocket. Malin Hartelius, another singer new to me, is equal to all the demands placed on her by Bach and Gardiner jointly and she’s partnered brilliantly by trumpeter Mike Harrison. In fact, though I’ve always liked the 1983 recording I find I prefer Miss Hartelius’s reading to Emma Kirkby’s as she sounds to me to have a slightly fuller voice. She’s beautifully expressive in the recitative and then gives us some exquisitely poised singing in the aria, ‘Höchster, mache deine Güte’. The concluding Alleluia aria is marvellously lively. Overall, this is a first rate account of a hugely taxing solo cantata.

BWV 99 and 100 share the same title and are based on the same Lutheran hymn but BWV 99 (1724) only sets two verses of the hymn itself whereas every one of the six movements of the later cantata (1734/5) sets a verse. Some may find Gardiner’s tempo for the chorus with which BWV 99 opens too brisk. Personally I think it’s refreshingly bright and well suited to the words. There’s only one solo aria in the piece, a demandingly chromatic tenor aria with a busy flute obbligato. James Gilchrist sings it with his usual intelligence and light, ringing tone. Later we hear a duetto in which a pair of voices and a pair of obbligato instruments interweave contrapuntally. The performers here articulate and inter-relate their individual lines moist skilfully.

BWV 100 requires a larger orchestra. The opening chorus, which is musically similar to its counterpart in BWV 99, is once again taken briskly. There are no recitatives in this cantata but the soloists are all challenged. The demanding alto/tenor duet, which is placed second is well done by Gilchrist and William Towers. The following aria, for soprano, is nicely sung but the ear is drawn irresistibly to the hugely testing, rippling flute obbligato. Peter Harvey projects his bass aria strongly. The penultimate movement is an alto aria and it features a gorgeous oboe d’amore obbligato. William Towers projects the vocal line positively but I’m not quite sure that he achieves the description "lyrical and soothing" that Gardiner applies to the music. However, he still gives a very good account of the piece. The exuberant closing chorale is the same one that we encountered at the end of BWV 75 (Vol. 1) albeit with some slight augmentations to the orchestral scoring.

The cantatas for the Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity reveal Bach at his expressive best and the performances here are fully worthy of the music. In BWV 161 we hear the ghostly zephyrs of a pair of recorders. The evocative sound world is highly reminiscent of the early cantata Gottes Zeit ist der allerbeste Zeit, BWV 106. Robin Tyson is suitably otherworldly in his singing of the heavenly opening aria, ‘Komm, du süsse Todessstunde’, from which the cantata takes its name. Mark Padmore reveals in a booklet note that he’d never sung this cantata before, which enabled him to impart freshness to the music. How I agree. To him falls the heartfelt aria ‘Mein Verlangen’, which he sings with superb ringing tone and great expressiveness. On the day, his performance must have been given added visual impetus for he was positioned on a ledge at the top of a stone stairway where the pulpit should have been. For me, despite the beauties of the opening aria, Padmore makes ‘Mein Verlangen’ the heart of the cantata on this occasion. Sample the marvellous open-throated ring in his voice every time he sings the words "verlangen" or "bald." There’s some nicely delicate singing by the choir in the penultimate movement and then the recorders weave an enchanting counter-melody round the concluding chorale. This is a masterly cantata which here receives a performance to savour.

BWV 27 is another fine work. The opening chorus is a moving lament, punctuated by brief solo passages. The flowing, irresistibly chirpy alto aria, ‘Willkommen! Will ich sagen’ is a delight, enhanced by a marvellous cornetto part. The concluding chorale, rather unusually, is not by Bach but is his slight adaptation of one by a sixteenth century composer, Johann Rosenmüller. It’s a most happy borrowing.

The opening chorus of BWV 8 features some marvellously original wind sonorities. Both the orchestral players and the chorus are on top form. In his notes Gardiner draws an intriguing parallel with Berlioz’s wind scoring in L’Enfance du Christ. Mark Padmore, the pick of a fine bunch of soloists at this concert, sings the aria ‘Was willst du dich, mein Geist, entsetzen’ with exemplary technique. At several points his precise placing of each in a series of high, staccato quaver is most skilful. The bass aria ‘Doch weichet, ihr tollen, Vergeblichen Sorgen!’ is a life-enhancing dance. Here there’s a fine spring in the step of the superb flautist (Rachel Beckett?) and Thomas Guthrie sings it well. We’ve heard little of soprano Katharine Fuge up to now but she’s meltingly lovely at the start of her recitative. A strongly affirmative chorale puts the seal on a splendid performance.

At the beginning of BWV 95 Bach once again demonstrates an original approach to chorales. The short interjections by the solo tenor (Mark Padmore) add another different dimension. Gardiner obtains a sprightly performance and especially relishes the section of the movement, which he describes as having "something of a jam session feel." Mark Padmore delights in the "mesmerising" aria, ‘Ach, Schlage doch bald, sel’ge Stunde’, where we are also treated to some superb wind playing.

-- John Quinn, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Liebster Gott, wenn werd' ich sterben?, BWV 8 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Mark Padmore (Tenor), Robin Tyson (Alto), Katherine Fuge (Soprano),
Thomas Guthrie (Bass)
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 10/07/2000 
Venue:  Live  Santo Domingo de Bonaval, Santiago, Spai 
Length: 18 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Language: German 
2.
Wer weiss, wie nahe mir mein Ende, BWV 27 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Mark Padmore (Tenor), Thomas Guthrie (Bass), Katherine Fuge (Soprano),
Robin Tyson (Alto)
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 10/07/2000 
Venue:  Live  Santo Domingo de Bonaval, Santiago, Spai 
Length: 14 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Language: German 
3.
Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, BWV 51 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Niklas Eklund (Trumpet), Malin Hartelius (Soprano)
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists
Written: 1730 
Date of Recording: 09/28/2000 
Venue:  Live  Our Beloved Lady Church, Bremen, Germany 
Length: 16 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Language: German 
4.
Christus, der ist mein Leben, BWV 95 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Mark Padmore (Tenor), Katherine Fuge (Soprano), Thomas Guthrie (Bass)
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 10/07/2000 
Venue:  Live  Santo Domingo de Bonaval, Santiago, Spai 
Length: 18 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Language: German 
5.
Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan, BWV 99 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Malin Hartelius (Soprano), William Towers (Countertenor), Marten Root (Flute),
Peter Harvey (Bass), James Gilchrist (Tenor)
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  Live  Our Beloved Lady Church, Bremen, Germany 
Length: 16 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: Our Beloved Lady Church, Bremen, Germany (09/05/2004 - 09/06/2004) 
6.
Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan, BWV 100 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter Harvey (Bass), Marten Root (Flute), James Gilchrist (Tenor),
Malin Hartelius (Soprano), William Towers (Countertenor)
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1735; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/28/2000 
Venue:  Live  Our Beloved Lady Church, Bremen, Germany 
Length: 21 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Language: German 
7.
Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz?, BWV 138 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  James Gilchrist (Tenor), William Towers (Countertenor), Peter Harvey (Bass),
Malin Hartelius (Soprano)
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/28/2000 
Venue:  Live  Our Beloved Lady Church, Bremen, Germany 
Length: 17 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Language: German 
8.
Komm, du süsse Todesstunde, BWV 161 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Mark Padmore (Tenor), Robin Tyson (Alto)
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1715; Cöthen, Germany 
Date of Recording: 10/07/2000 
Venue:  Live  Santo Domingo de Bonaval, Santiago, Spai 
Length: 21 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Language: German 

Sound Samples

Warum betrubst du dich, mein Herz, BWV 138: Chorale and Recitative: Warum betrubst du dich (Alto, Tenor)
Warum betrubst du dich, mein Herz, BWV 138: Recitative: Ich bin veracht (Bass)
Warum betrubst du dich, mein Herz, BWV 138: Chorale and Recitative: Er kann und will dich lassen nicht (Soprano, Alto)
Warum betrubst du dich, mein Herz, BWV 138: Recitative: Ach susser Trost (Tenor)
Warum betrubst du dich, mein Herz, BWV 138: Aria: Auf Gott steht meine Zuversicht (Bass)
Warum betrubst du dich, mein Herz, BWV 138: Recitative: Ei nun! (Alto)
Warum betrubst du dich, mein Herz, BWV 138: Chorale: Weil du mein Gott und Vater bist
Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan, BWV 99: Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan (Chorus)
Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan, BWV 99: Recitative: Sein Wort der Wahrheit stehet fest (Bass)
Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan, BWV 99: Aria: Erschuttre dich nur nicht, verzagte Seele (Tenor)
Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan, BWV 99: Recitative: Nun, der von Ewigkeit geschloss'ne Bund (Alto)
Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan, BWV 99: Duet Aria: Wenn des Kreuzes Bitterkeiten (Soprano, Alto)
Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan, BWV 99: Chorale: Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan
Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen!, BWV 51: Aria: Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen! (Soprano)
Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen!, BWV 51: Recitative: Wir beten zu dem Temel an (Soprano)
Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen!, BWV 51: Aria: Hochster, mach deine Gute (Soprano)
Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen!, BWV 51: Chorale: Sei Lob und Preis mit Ehren (Soprano)
Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen!, BWV 51: Aria: Alleluja! (Soprano)
Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan, BWV 100: Chorale: Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan
Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan, BWV 100: Duet: Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan (Alto, Tenor)
Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan, BWV 100: Aria: Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan (Soprano)
Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan, BWV 100: Aria: Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan (Bass)
Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan, BWV 100: Aria: Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan (Alto)
Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan, BWV 100: Chorale: Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan
Komm, du susse Todesstunde, BWV 161: Aria with Chorale: Komm, du susse Todesstunde (Alto)
Komm, du susse Todesstunde, BWV 161: Recitative: Welt, deine Lust ist Last (Tenor)
Komm, du susse Todesstunde, BWV 161: Aria: Mein Verlangen (Tenor)
Komm, du susse Todesstunde, BWV 161: Recitative: Der Schluss ist schon gemacht (Alto)
Komm, du susse Todesstunde, BWV 161: Wenn es meines Gottes Wille (Chorus)
Komm, du susse Todesstunde, BWV 161: Chorale: Der Leib zwar in der Erden
Wer weiss, wie nahe mir mein Ende!, BWV 27: Chorale and Recitative: Wer weiss, wie nahe mir mein Ende (Soprano, Alto, Tenor)
Wer weiss, wie nahe mir mein Ende!, BWV 27: Recitative: Mein Leben hat kein ander Ziel (Tenor)
Wer weiss, wie nahe mir mein Ende!, BWV 27: Aria: Wilkommen! will ich sagen (Alto)
Wer weiss, wie nahe mir mein Ende!, BWV 27: Recitative: Ach, wer doch schon im Himmel war! (Soprano)
Wer weiss, wie nahe mir mein Ende!, BWV 27: Aria: Gute Nacht, du Weltgetummel! (Bass)
Wer weiss, wie nahe mir mein Ende!, BWV 27: Chorale: Welt, ade! Ich bin dein mude
Liebster Gott, wenn werd ich sterben, BWV 8: Liebster Gott, wenn werd ich sterben? (Chorus)
Liebster Gott, wenn werd ich sterben, BWV 8: Aria: Was willst du dich, mein Geist, entsetzen (Tenor)
Liebster Gott, wenn werd ich sterben, BWV 8: Accompanied Recitative: Zwar fuhlt mein schwaches Herz (Alto)
Liebster Gott, wenn werd ich sterben, BWV 8: Aria: Doch weichet, ihr tollen, vergeblichen Sorgen! (Bass)
Liebster Gott, wenn werd ich sterben, BWV 8: Recitative: Behalte nur, o Welt, das Meine! (Soprano)
Liebster Gott, wenn werd ich sterben, BWV 8: Chorale: Herrscher uber Tod und Leben
Christus, der ist mein Leben, BWV 95: Chorus and Recitative: Christus, der ist mein Leben (Tenor)
Christus, der ist mein Leben, BWV 95: Recitative: Nun, falsche Welt! (Soprano)
Christus, der ist mein Leben, BWV 95: Chorale: Valet will ich dir geben (Soprano)
Christus, der ist mein Leben, BWV 95: Recitative: Ach konnte mir bald so wohl geschehn (Tenor)
Christus, der ist mein Leben, BWV 95: Aria: Ach, schlage doch bald, selge Stunde (Tenor)
Christus, der ist mein Leben, BWV 95: Recitative: Denn ich weiss dies (Bass)
Christus, der ist mein Leben, BWV 95: Chorale: Weil du vom Tod erstanden bist

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