WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Bach: Cantatas Vol 21 / Koopman, Amsterdam Baroque


Release Date: 09/12/2006 
Label:  Challenge   Catalog #: 72221   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Klaus MertensJames GilchristBogna BartoszSandrine Piau,   ... 
Conductor:  Ton Koopman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque OrchestraAmsterdam Baroque Choir
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 3 Hours 18 Mins. 

Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  
On sale! $49.47
CD:  $40.99
Low Stock



Notes and Editorial Reviews

Bach spent the last 27 years of his life in Leipzig. We have no reason to doubt that he fulfilled his contractual obligation to provide music to the churches under his care on a weekly basis (except during Lent) for the duration of his tenure. We know that he began this enterprise with remarkable vigor, composing four complete cycles of new cantatas (some of which he adapted from existing scores) and, in the process, assembling a library of (in the words of Paul Hume) “music without equal or near parallel.” His son, Carl Philippe Emanuel, indicated that there was a fifth cycle; if so, it has disappeared completely. As early as 1729, Bach stopped this rigorous routine, instead reviving and revising cantatas from his trunk and using music Read more from other sources, including his illustrious cousins. He occasionally composed new cantatas nearly to the end of his life, however, often turning to the chorale-cantata concept that intrigued him during his second year in Leipzig.

The late cantatas were individual items, created for special circumstances, so it should come as no surprise that Bach’s public face, with an abundance of kettledrums and trumpets or horns, is on display in many of them. Four of the cantatas in this volume—BWV 100, 195, 197, and 97—were composed for weddings, while a fifth, BWV 34, was derived from an existing wedding cantata. Another, BWV 140, was not written for a wedding, but its depiction of the parable of the wise and foolish virgins gave Bach a reason to write two ecstatic duets between Christ (the bridegroom) and the church (his bride); these duets have been cited as evidence that Bach, given an opportunity, could have succeeded in the field of opera. Cantata 140, undoubtedly the most familiar item in this set, thanks to its central chorale setting, owes its existence to the fact that 1731 had an extra week during the period after Trinity Sunday. For the Christmas Cantata, No. 191, Bach used three movements (Latin texts and all) from his Missa in B Minor, which he later expanded into the B-Minor Mass.

Of the remaining items, Cantata 158 is an Easter cantata for bass solo. BWV 177, first performed in 1732, is a chorale cantata. It is assumed that Bach composed it to bring a revival of the incomplete chorale cycle of 1724 and 1725 to a satisfactory close. BWV 143, for New Year’s Day, is uniquely scored for three horns instead of the usual two. No manuscript copy of this cantata has survived, so its authenticity is suspect.

BWV 118 is actually a funeral motet, not a cantata, and BWV 200 is a single aria from a lost cantata, its purpose unknown.

Those unfamiliar with Koopman’s series and its virtues—as well as those who have steadfastly collected the first 20 boxes—can rest assured that there has been no falling off in its over-all merit. Koopman seems to have found a new pair of lead soloists in the female ranges; Sandrine Piau and Bogna Bartosz have been doing the heavy lifting of late, and each has justified Koopman’s confidence. Klaus Mertens is as reliable as ever in the bass solos, as have been the four tenors featured in the current volume.

Koopman’s edition is drawing to a close. Volume 21 is to be the next-to-last volume in the series, raising some anxious speculation about what is to follow. Of the authentic, numbered cantatas, only BWV 30 and BWV 80 have not yet appeared. We already have the secular cantatas. Will we get the spurious items? Stay tuned.

FANFARE: George Chien
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan, BWV 100 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Klaus Mertens (Bass), James Gilchrist (Tenor), Bogna Bartosz (Alto),
Sandrine Piau (Soprano)
Conductor:  Ton Koopman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra,  Amsterdam Baroque Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1735; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 19 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Language: German 
2. Bekennen will ich seinen Namen, BWV 200 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Bogna Bartosz (Alto)
Conductor:  Ton Koopman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra,  Amsterdam Baroque Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: ?1742; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 20 Secs. 
Language: German 
3. Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 177 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Bogna Bartosz (Alto), Christoph Prégardien (Tenor), Sandrine Piau (Soprano)
Conductor:  Ton Koopman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra,  Amsterdam Baroque Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1732; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 23 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Language: German 
4. Dem Gerechten muss das Licht, BWV 195 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Sandrine Piau (Soprano), Annette Markert (Alto), James Gilchrist (Tenor),
Johannette Zomer (Soprano), Klaus Mertens (Bass)
Conductor:  Ton Koopman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra,  Amsterdam Baroque Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1737; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 17 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Language: German 
5. Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 140 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Sandrine Piau (Soprano), Klaus Mertens (Bass), James Gilchrist (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ton Koopman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra,  Amsterdam Baroque Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1731; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 24 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Language: German 
6. O ewiges Feuer, O Ursprung der Liebe, BWV 34 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Paul Agnew (Tenor), Klaus Mertens (Bass), Bogna Bartosz (Alto)
Conductor:  Ton Koopman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra,  Amsterdam Baroque Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: after 1740; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 15 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Language: German 
7. Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele, BWV 143 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Klaus Mertens (Bass), Jörg Dürmüller (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ton Koopman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra,  Amsterdam Baroque Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 11 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Language: German 
8. Der Friede sei mit dir, BWV 158 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Klaus Mertens (Bass)
Conductor:  Ton Koopman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra,  Amsterdam Baroque Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: after 1723; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 9 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Language: German 
9. Gott ist unser Zuversicht, BWV 197 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Bogna Bartosz (Alto), Klaus Mertens (Bass), Sandrine Piau (Soprano)
Conductor:  Ton Koopman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra,  Amsterdam Baroque Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1739-1742; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 25 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Language: German 
10. In allen meinen Taten, BWV 97 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Bogna Bartosz (Alto), Klaus Mertens (Bass), James Gilchrist (Tenor),
Sandrine Piau (Soprano)
Conductor:  Ton Koopman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra,  Amsterdam Baroque Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1734; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 25 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Language: German 
11. O Jesu Christ, mein Lebens Licht, BWV 118 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Ton Koopman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra,  Amsterdam Baroque Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Language: German 
12. Gloria in excelsis Deo, BWV 191 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Paul Agnew (Tenor), Caroline Stam (Soprano)
Conductor:  Ton Koopman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra,  Amsterdam Baroque Choir
Written: after 1740 
Length: 14 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Language: German 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook