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Bach: Christmas Cantatas / Tubéry, Les Agrémens


Release Date: 10/13/2009 
Label:  Ricercar   Catalog #: 257   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Jean Tubery
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Namur Chamber ChoirLes Agrémens
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 0 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



BACH Christmas Cantatas: No. 133; 1 No. 64; 2 No. 121 3 & Jean Tubéry, cond; Aurore Bucher (sop); 1 Cécile Côte (sop); 3 Caroline Weynants (sop); 2 Petra Noskaïova (alt); Read more class="SUPER12">1,2,3 Paulin Bündgen (ct); 2 Henning Kaiser (ten); 1,3 Etienne Debaisieux (bs); 1,2 Benoît Giaux (bs); 3 CCh de Namur; Les Agrémens (period instruments) RICERCAR 257 (60:08 Text and Translation)


& Pastorale in F: Mvt. 1. Allein Gott in der Höh


Good news and bad news. This disc of Christmas cantatas has arrived in time for the Christmas season, but too late for the Christmas issue. But there is better news. It is a thoroughly enjoyable disc, well worth your attention, from yet another unexpected source. Never heard of Namur? It’s a city in the Wallonia region of Belgium, situated at the confluence of the Sambre and Meuse Rivers, about halfway between Brussels and Bastogne. On the evidence of this disc, Namur is home to both a fine choir and an accomplished period-instruments orchestra, Les Agrémens. And Jean Tubéry? You may not recognize the name, but chances are you have heard him. He is a French wind player, originally of the recorder, but now of the cornetto. He has recorded with the Les Arts Florissants, the Clemencic Consort, Concert Vocale, Hesperion XXI, Le Petite Bande, and others, and founded the instrumental ensemble La Fenice. So he knows his way around the Baroque repertoire, and it shows.


Tubéry, incidentally, tackles the numbers issue by finessing it. He is a believer in the one-to-a-part convention, but he also accepts at face value Bach’s petition to the Leipzig council, indicating the desirability of a larger ensemble. The resolution Tubéry proposes, it seems to me, passes the common-sense test. The more intimate cantatas should be sung with soloists; the more extroverted cantatas should be sung with small choirs. But there is no hard and fast line between the two. It will always be subject to the sensibility of the performers. Consequently, Tubéry has elected to perform these Christmas cantatas with a choir of 16 voices and orchestral strings numbering 3-3-2-2-1. All of the vocal soloists come out of the choir, as they would have in Bach’s day. Yet more good news: all are splendid. So what’s not to like? Well, practically nothing. Try to remember this review as next Christmas approaches—if you haven’t jumped the gun and already acquired this disc.


FANFARE: George Chien
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Works on This Recording

1.
Ich freue mich in dir, BWV 133 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Jean Tubery
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Namur Chamber Choir,  Les Agrémens
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724; Leipzig, Germany 
2.
Pastorale in F major, BWV 590 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Jean Tubery
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Namur Chamber Choir,  Les Agrémens
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1710; Weimar, Germany 
3.
Sehet, welch eine Liebe, BWV 64 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Jean Tubery
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Namur Chamber Choir,  Les Agrémens
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Leipzig, Germany 
4.
Christum wir sollen loben schon, BWV 121 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Jean Tubery
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Namur Chamber Choir,  Les Agrémens
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724; Leipzig, Germany 

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