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Bach: Cantatas 30, 7, 167 / Eric Milnes, Montreal Baroque


Release Date: 12/27/2005 
Label:  Atma Classique   Catalog #: 22400   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Suzie LeBlancDaniel TaylorStephan MacLeod
Conductor:  Eric Milnes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Baroque OrchestraMontreal Bach Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 1 Hours 13 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



BACH Cantates Saint-Jean-Baptiste : No. 30; No. 7; No. 167 Eric Milnes, cond; Suzie LeBlanc (sop); Daniel Taylor (ct); Charles Daniels (ten); Stephan MacLeod (bs); Montréal Baroque (period instruments) ATMA SACD2 2400 (Hybrid multichannel SACD: 76:37 & )


Bach’s three cantatas for the feast of St. John the Baptist (June 24) are presented in reverse order of chronology and duration. Cantata 167, composed in Read more 1723, consists of a tenor aria and a duet for soprano and alto, each followed by a recitative leading to a concluding elaborated chorale. A reference to “the horn of salvation” in the text is reflected in the galloping motion of the aria and the chorale, and it may have influenced Bach’s unusual choice of the oboe da caccia to accompany the duet, in which an extended melisma on “Jahren” illuminates the “hundreds of years” that have passed since our forefathers signed on to God’s covenant. Cantata 7, from 1724, is immersed in the waters of the Jordan, especially in the magnificent opening chorus, one of Bach’s finest.


One of Bach’s longer cantatas, BWV 30 was first performed in the years between 1738 and 1742, having been derived from an earlier secular cantata from which the trumpets and drums were excised. Another loser in the transformation was the tenor soloist, whose aria was eliminated (the bass has two). It has 12 movements, divided into two parts, with the music of the opening chorus reprised at the end. The end of part 1 is marked by a newly composed four-part chorale, which follows yet another of those arias (for alto and strings) that stick in the mind.


The performances, sung without a chorus but played with a string complement numbering 4-4-2-2-1, are, if not overwhelming, entirely convincing. The four soloists manage their roles admirably, and the recorded sound is excellent. The notes went into perhaps more detail about the oboe da caccia than its limited role on the disc seems to merit, but I noticed that the writer was Bruce Haynes, a prominent oboist during the early days of the period-instruments movement.


Incidentally, buried in the notes is an eye-popping statement that Montréal Baroque “has undertaken Bach’s complete cantatas in a pared-down version, with a one-per-part choir, as was the practice in Lutheran Germany of the time.” That would be a first, since all of the other complete and on-going series employ small choirs. There was no mention of boy sopranos.


FANFARE: George Chien
This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Freue dich, erlöste Schar, BWV 30 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Suzie LeBlanc (Soprano), Daniel Taylor (Countertenor), Stephan MacLeod (Bass)
Conductor:  Eric Milnes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Baroque Orchestra,  Montreal Bach Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1738; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/2004 
Venue:  Church of the Nativity, Laprairie, Québe 
Length: 34 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Language: German 
2.
Christ, unser Herr, zum Jordan kam, BWV 7 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Stephan MacLeod (Bass), Daniel Taylor (Countertenor), Suzie LeBlanc (Soprano)
Conductor:  Eric Milnes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Baroque Orchestra,  Montreal Bach Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/2004 
Venue:  Church of the Nativity, Laprairie, Québe 
Length: 23 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Language: German 
3.
Ihr Menschen, rühmet Gottes Liebe, BWV 167 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Daniel Taylor (Countertenor), Suzie LeBlanc (Soprano), Stephan MacLeod (Bass)
Conductor:  Eric Milnes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Baroque Orchestra,  Montreal Bach Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/2004 
Venue:  Church of the Nativity, Laprairie, Québe 
Length: 16 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Language: German 

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