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Bach: Motets / Dijkstra, Netherlands Chamber Choir


Release Date: 05/13/2008 
Label:  Channel Classics   Catalog #: 27108   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Peter Dijkstra
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Chamber Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Finally, here is a recording of Bach's motets (sung at sensible tempos) that employs a moderately-sized choir (two dozen voices--no "one-to-a-part" stuff here!), a simple basso continuo (organ and cello), and doesn't get hung up on the "did he or didn't he" nonsense regarding BWV 230 (Lobet den Herrn), rightly including it among the "standard six" works Bach composed in this rather vaguely defined genre. Other recordings offer very satisfying results--René Jacobs and the RIAS-Kammerchor, who present the "standard six" with small orchestra and continuo of strings and winds (Harmonia Mundi), and Harry Christophers and the Sixteen, who do the basic six
Read more with continuo of cello, violone, theorbo, and organ--but this one captures the essence of these extraordinary works as vocal music, stripping the scores down to texts and singers, with instruments enlisted as unobtrusive partners in filling out texture and adding depth and body to the bass line.

Conductor Peter Dijkstra is not as concerned with particular means of articulation as he is with the importance of "the vocal line", which he regards as paramount--but of course, his care for the one results in exceptionally clear, clean expression of the other, transmitted with his choir's impressively vibrant energy and authoritative style. These motets never have sounded so fresh, alive, and exciting as on this Channel Classics recording, nor has a choir so proficiently and artfully demonstrated the ingenious and powerful musical dialogues in the double-choir works or more handily elucidated the profoundly difficult and complex movements of Jesu, meine Freude. This latter certainly is the highlight of the disc, each verse a virtuosic display of technique as well as a moving expression of the text. My only reservations concern a momentarily odd tempo shift in the middle of Lobet den Herrn (no big deal, but strange nevertheless) and the failure to simply list the continuo players in an obvious place with the other performers. Channel Classics' sound is typically demonstration-quality, and the packaging is very sensible and user-friendly. A must!

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com

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

1.
Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf, BWV 226 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Peter Dijkstra
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Chamber Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1729; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 8 Minutes 6 Secs. 
2.
Fürchte dich nicht, ich bin bei dir, BWV 228 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Peter Dijkstra
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Chamber Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 9 Minutes 15 Secs. 
3.
Komm, Jesu, komm!, BWV 229 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Peter Dijkstra
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Chamber Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1725-1749; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 9 Minutes 35 Secs. 
4.
Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden, BWV 230 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Peter Dijkstra
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Chamber Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1723-1729; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 6 Minutes 25 Secs. 
5.
Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Peter Dijkstra
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Chamber Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 19 Minutes 16 Secs. 
6.
Singet Dem Hern, BWV 225 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Peter Dijkstra
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Chamber Choir
Length: 12 Minutes 18 Secs. 

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