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Bach: Motets / Herreweghe, La Chapelle Royale

Bach / Herreweghe
Release Date: 02/11/2014 
Label:  Harmonia Mundi   Catalog #: 1951231   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter KooyGreta de ReyghèreAgnès [Soprano Vocal] MellonVincent Darras,   ... 
Conductor:  Philippe Herreweghe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chapelle Royale
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 11 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

In this exemplary recording of six Bach motets Philippe Herreweghe leads Collegium Vocale Ghent (an ensemble that includes both singers and instrumentalists) and ten soloists in performances of exceptional finesse and elegance. That's no easy task given the dense contrapuntal textures that characterizes several of the motets written for double chorus and orchestra. It takes great skill to keep the music, in a movement like the opening to "Singet dem Herr ein neues Lied," from turning into a murky undifferentiated stew of busyness, but Herreweghe keeps the sound open and varied. One crucial element is the absolutely pristine intonation and pure tone of the singers, which makes the harmonies clear and distinct. Herreweghe's graceful Read more shaping of the phrases creates the sense of overlapping waves rising and falling rather than a monolithic wall of sound. The choruses' discipline in their precise observance of producing matching vowels is another factor that allows the intricacies of the music to come across as clean and well-defined. Although it is scored it for the same forces, in Komm, Jesu, komm Bach works with gleaming, transparent textures, where the felicities of Herreweghe's leadership and the refinement of the soloists, choruses, and orchestra are even more clearly in evidence. His attention to the emotional content of the piece gives the music a powerfully yearning warmth that, in spite of the large number of performers, feels intensely intimate. The engineers deserve much credit for creating such a carefully balanced aural environment, where details pop with amazing clarity and the sound is at the same time warm and enveloping. This is a release best experienced on a sound system that provides optimal separation and definition. Highly recommended; these are performances that should delight and dazzle fans of Baroque choral music.

– Stephen Eddins, All Music Guide Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf, BWV 226 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Philippe Herreweghe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chapelle Royale
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1729; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  Minderbrooderskerk, Gand 
Length: 8 Minutes 19 Secs. 
2.
Fürchte dich nicht, ich bin bei dir, BWV 228 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Philippe Herreweghe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chapelle Royale
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  Minderbrooderskerk, Gand 
Length: 8 Minutes 28 Secs. 
3.
Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter Kooy (), Greta de Reyghère (), Agnès [Soprano Vocal] Mellon (),
Vincent Darras (), Howard Crook ()
Conductor:  Philippe Herreweghe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chapelle Royale
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  Minderbrooderskerk, Gand 
Length: 21 Minutes 31 Secs. 
4.
Komm, Jesu, komm!, BWV 229 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Philippe Herreweghe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chapelle Royale
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1725-1749; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  Minderbrooderskerk, Gand 
Length: 8 Minutes 49 Secs. 
5.
Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden, BWV 230 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Philippe Herreweghe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chapelle Royale
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1723-1729; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  Minderbrooderskerk, Gand 
Length: 6 Minutes 26 Secs. 
6.
Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, BWV 225 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Philippe Herreweghe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chapelle Royale
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726-1727; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  Minderbrooderskerk, Gand 
Length: 13 Minutes 6 Secs. 
7.
O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht, motet for chorus & brass ("Cantata No. 118"), BWV 118a (BC B23a) by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Philippe Herreweghe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chapelle Royale
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1736-1737; Germany 
Venue:  Minderbrooderskerk, Gand 
Length: 4 Minutes 12 Secs. 

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