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Bach: Motets, Bwv 225-230 & Anh.159 / Hermann Max, Rheinische Kantorei

Bach / Rheinische Kantorei / Max
Release Date: 09/24/2013 
Label:  Cpo   Catalog #: 777807   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Hermann Max
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 3 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



BACH Motets (7) Hermann Max, cond; Rheinische Kantorei CPO 7778072 (63:11 Text and Translation)


The seventh motet is Ich lasse dich nicht , once attributed to Bach’s distinguished uncle Johann Christoph, but increasingly accepted to be the work of the even more formidable nephew. CPO’s notes clearly state the case for Johann Sebastian. Six or seven—probably there were many more—the motets are a random set. Each was Read more independently commissioned, so there is no discernible order. By saving Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied for last, an increasingly popular option, Hermann Max moves his program to a grand conclusion. The Baroque way, it seems to me, was to lead from strength, as in the orchestral suites. To our post-Romantic ears, Max’s choice somehow feels more satisfying. The chorus numbers six per part, not so many since most of the motets were composed for double choirs. For what it’s worth, five of the six altos (and all of the sopranos) are women. Colle parte instruments are not used, but the voices are discretely supported by a cello and an organ.


If you are prone to contemplate the duality of nature, you may be inclined think of conductors as either interpreters or facilitators—those who mold a score for emotional effect and those who are content to let the music speak for itself. Think of Leopold Stokowski on the one hand and Neville Marriner on the other. (Let me say here that I’m an admirer of both men.) Of course, it’s a matter of emphasis; any conductor worth hearing is both. As in football, the game is mostly played between the 40-yard lines. That said, Max tends to be an interpreter. He makes numerous little tweaks to make points, but he never distorts the big picture. Max favors a more legato than detached line, and his singers, obviously enthusiastic but well disciplined, deliver it. The choral sound is satisfyingly rich. Overall, it’s a rewarding experience. It won’t go to the top of my list, but it will fit comfortably in that burgeoning too-good-to-give-away category.


FANFARE: George Chien
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Works on This Recording

1. Komm, Jesu, komm!, BWV 229 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Hermann Max
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1725-1749; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, Köln 
Length: 7 Minutes 29 Secs. 
2. Ich lasse dich nicht, du segnest mich denn, BWV 157 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Hermann Max
Period: Baroque 
Written: ?1728; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, Köln 
Length: 3 Minutes 44 Secs. 
3. Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Hermann Max
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, Köln 
Length: 16 Minutes 57 Secs. 
4. Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden, BWV 230 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Hermann Max
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1723-1729; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, Köln 
Length: 6 Minutes 23 Secs. 
5. Fürchte dich nicht, ich bin bei dir, BWV 228 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Hermann Max
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, Köln 
Length: 7 Minutes 59 Secs. 
6. Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf, BWV 226 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Hermann Max
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1729; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, Köln 
Length: 7 Minutes 13 Secs. 
7. Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, BWV 225 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Hermann Max
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726-1727; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, Köln 
Length: 11 Minutes 56 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Komm, Jesu, komm, BWV 229
Ich lasse dich nicht, du segnest mich denn, BWV Anh. 159
Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227: Jesu, meine Freude
Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227: Es ist nun nichts Verdammliches an denen
Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227: Unter deinen Schirmen
Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227: Denn das Gesetz des Geistes
Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227: Trotz dem alten Drachen
Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227: Ihr aber seid nicht fleischlich
Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227: Weg mit allen Schatzen
Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227: So aber Christus in euch ist
Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227: Gute Nacht, o Wesen
Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227: So nun der Geist
Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227: Weicht, ihr Trauergeister
Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden, BWV 230: Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden, BWV 230
Furchte dich nicht, ich bin bei dir, BWV 228
Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf, BWV 226
Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, BWV 225

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