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Bach: Cantatas Vol 35 / Suzuki, Nonoshita, Blaze, Et Al


Release Date: 05/29/2007 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 1571   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Yukari NonoshitaRobin BlazeMakoto SakuradaPeter Kooy
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 1 Hours 11 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.

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BACH Cantatas: No. 128; No. 176; No. 87; No. 74 Masaaki Suzuki, cond; Bach Collegium Japan BIS 1571 (Hybrid Super Audio CD: 70:47 Text and Translation)


Disc No. 35 in the BIS series is a group of lesser-known cantatas, even if only Read more style="font-style:italic">Wer mich liebet (BWV 74) had to wait until the 1970s to be added to the complete sets that finally became recordable at that late date, Helmut Rilling having recorded it first in 1972. But even the other three each had only one recording before that time: Bisher habt ihr nichts gebeten (BWV 87) under Werner in 1959, Auf Christi Himmelfahrt allein (BWV 128) under Günther Ramin issued in 1966 (though recorded in 1953), and Es ist ein Trotzig (BWV 176) under Rilling in 1967. All four cantatas are among the group of nine works that Bach composed for a series of cantatas on the gospel of the day in 1725, and all four were first performed in May of that year, the days including Rogation Sunday, Ascension, Pentecost, and Trinity. He had composed cantatas a year earlier for all four days, and others even earlier in Weimar for the last two, each time to a different libretto. This group all used librettos that Marianne von Ziegler wrote for the purpose. This program is a good example of Suzuki’s method of grouping cantatas by the disc.


This group of cantatas, in fact, is a good illustration of what we were missing in the early stereo era when only 30 or 40 of the cantatas were known much at all. Alec Robertson, in The Church Cantatas of J. S. Bach (Praeger, 1972), wrote of “the astonishing melodic richness to be found in cantata after cantata, the satisfying harmonic foundations, the marvelous contrapuntal skills and the splendid vital rhythms.” Bach’s own deep faith, his love of Christ, and his understanding of death as the key to eternal life shine through the music even if his librettists’ expression of Christian truths is trite or brash (paraphrasing Robertson). Other later writers who did not share Bach’s faith were still able to explain the significance of Bach’s musical treatment of those texts.


Seldom is this as evident as in these four cantatas that come at the climax of the Easter season, the preeminent celebration of those mysteries of faith. Suzuki’s success is not lessened by the employment of two less familiar soloists along with his regular countertenor and bass. Soprano Yukari Nonoshita and tenor Makoto Sakurada are remarkable for fitting in so unobtrusively. This would not be worthy of note if I had heard their many previous contributions to this series, but my only previous disc (30:6) used only Western soloists, and I assumed this to be the norm. Clearly, I am still settling in to the experience of the interpretation of Bach’s vast collection that comes from such an unexpected source. If any readers share my wonder, they should give Suzuki a chance. He is a remarkable musician.


FANFARE: J. F. Weber
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Works on This Recording

1.
Auf Christi Himmelfahrt allein, BWV 128 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Yukari Nonoshita (Soprano), Robin Blaze (Countertenor), Makoto Sakurada (Tenor),
Peter Kooy (Bass)
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Written: 1725 
2.
Bisher habt ihr nichts gebeten in meinem Namen, BWV 87 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Yukari Nonoshita (Soprano), Robin Blaze (Countertenor), Makoto Sakurada (Tenor),
Peter Kooy (Bass)
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Leipzig, Germany 
3.
Wer mich liebet, der wird mein Wort halten, BWV 74 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Yukari Nonoshita (Soprano), Robin Blaze (Countertenor), Makoto Sakurada (Tenor),
Peter Kooy (Bass)
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Leipzig, Germany 

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