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Bach: Sacred Cantatas / Rotzsch, Schreier, Polster


Release Date: 05/06/2008 
Label:  Berlin Classics   Catalog #: 184212   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Doris SoffelMitsuko ShiraiPeter SchreierHermann-Christian Polster,   ... 
Conductor:  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig New Bach Collegium MusicumLeipzig St. Thomas Church ChoirLeipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
Number of Discs: 11 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



BACH Cantatas: Nos. 10, 172, 68, 1, 4, 134, 137, 21, 173a, 173, 26, 29, 119, 106, 31, 66, 140, 61, 36, 110, 40, 71, 79, 80, 192, 50, 198. Magnificat in D Hans-Joachim Rotzsch, cond; Various soloists; Thomanerchor Leipzig; Neues Bachisches Collegium Musicum; Gewandhaus O Leipzig BERLIN 184212 (11 CDs: 10:55:00 Text, no Translations)


The run-up to the Bach tercentennial spawned two significant projects that superseded Archiv’s then epic recording of 64 Bach cantatas on 30 LPs by Read more Karl Richter and the Munich Bach Choir. Telefunken’s (now Teldec’s) much heralded joint venture by Nikolaus Harnoncourt in Vienna and Gustav Leonhardt in Amsterdam gave us all of the sacred cantatas in historically informed performances, but it was Stuttgart’s Helmuth Rilling who managed to reach the finish line first with his complete edition for Laudate/Hänssler. Meanwhile, Leipzig’s favorite son was accorded a more modest homage by the home team, so to speak—a limited collection of cantatas from the choir of St. Thomas Church and its director at the time, Hans-Joachim Rotzsch—that somehow managed to evade the radar of public awareness. The current 11-disc box gathers Rotzsch’s recordings of 27 cantatas and the Magnificat at a reduced price. A few of these recordings made it to the U.S. on LPs back when, and about 20 years ago several were released here on separate CDs. I auditioned eight of those discs and was generally pleased with what I heard.


These performances are not, to be sure, historically informed, nor are they fashionably chamber-like. The Thomanerchor is traditionally large (and all male), and it is accompanied in four of the 11 discs by the Gewandhaus Orchestra and in the remaining seven by the Neues Bachisches Collegium Musicum. The roster of the latter is not listed, but, like the Gewandhaus Orchestra, its players use modern instruments and are not adverse to vibrato. On the other hand, Rotzsch does avoid, for the most part, languid tempos and extravagant gestures. The young men of the Thomanerchor are well trained and attentive and make, collectively, a joyfully controlled noise. The orchestral players and instrumental soloists, too, are beyond reproach. Similarly, Rotzsch’s soloists are top-drawer. Among the latter, Arleen Augér, Otrun Wenkel, Peter Schreier, and Hermann Christian Polster make the most frequent appearances, but the others, including the likes of Regina Werner, Doris Soffel, Theo Adam, and Siegfried Lorenz, are splendid as well. Rotzsch, himself, sings on two of the discs (he is a tenor).


Not surprisingly, there are some quibbles. Rotzsch’s Magnificat is no match for those of Hickox, Herreweghe, or Marriner, and the Sinfonia to Cantata 29 is surprisingly tame; Herreweghe is a better bet there. In Cantata 4, Rotzsch gave the solos to the chorus, a common practice at the time, but now considered anachronistic. On the other hand, he did resist what must have been a serious temptation, with Ludwig Güttler at his disposal, to insert Wilhelm Friedemann’s high trumpet additions to Cantata 80. Overall, these performances maintain a fairly high standard of quality, and should please listeners who do not insist on period instruments or minimalist proportions. I could comfortably recommend the set as an introduction to the cantata genre. Among its 27 components (consider the Magnificat to be a bonus) are several favorites (e.g., Nos. 4, 21, 80, 106, 140) as well as examples of early and late cantatas; it covers the major liturgical feasts, and demonstrates well Bach’s endless imagination and versatility. Missing are any examples of solo cantatas, but there is an example of a secular cantata and its sacred parody. The booklet has bilingual notes, but the cantata texts are given only in German. The Latin text of the Magnificat is translated into German.


Several years ago a colleague asked for a short list of recommendations for someone who might want to sample the cantatas but had no intention of collecting the whole set—a reasonable request, but exactly the sort of assignment that can drive one crazy. Add one cantata to the list and you immediately think of two more that should be there. The beauty of the Berlin set is that someone else (Rotzsch) has already made those decisions, and has done it pretty well.


FANFARE: George Chien
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Works on This Recording

1.
Meine Seel' erhebt den Herren, BWV 10 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Doris Soffel (Alto), Mitsuko Shirai (Soprano), Peter Schreier (Tenor),
Hermann-Christian Polster (Bass)
Conductor:  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig New Bach Collegium Musicum,  Leipzig St. Thomas Church Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 21 Minutes 33 Secs. 
2.
Lobe den Erschallet, ihr Lieder, erklinget ihr Saiten!, BWV 172 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Arleen Augér (Soprano), Siegfried Lorenz (Bass), Ortrun Wenkel (Alto),
Peter Schreier (Tenor)
Conductor:  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig New Bach Collegium Musicum,  Leipzig St. Thomas Church Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1714; Weimar, Germany 
Length: 21 Minutes 23 Secs. 
3.
Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt, BWV 68 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Arleen Augér (Soprano), Ortrun Wenkel (Alto), Peter Schreier (Tenor),
Siegfried Lorenz (Bass)
Conductor:  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig New Bach Collegium Musicum,  Leipzig St. Thomas Church Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 15 Minutes 32 Secs. 
4.
Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, BWV 1 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Siegfried Lorenz (Bass), Ortrun Wenkel (Alto), Peter Schreier (Tenor),
Arleen Augér (Soprano)
Conductor:  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig New Bach Collegium Musicum,  Leipzig St. Thomas Church Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 20 Minutes 49 Secs. 
5.
Ein Herz, das seinen Jesum lebend weiss, BWV 134 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter Schreier (Tenor), Ludwig Güttler (Trumpet), Ortrun Wenkel (Alto)
Conductor:  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig New Bach Collegium Musicum,  Leipzig St. Thomas Church Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 29 Minutes 46 Secs. 
6.
Durchlauchtster Leopold, BWV 173a by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Regina Werner (Soprano), Siegfried Lorenz (Baritone)
Conductor:  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  Leipzig St. Thomas Church Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa ?1722; Germany 
Length: 22 Minutes 54 Secs. 
7.
Erhöhtes Fleisch und Blut, BWV 173 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch (Tenor), Heidi Riess (Alto), Hermann-Christian Polster (Bass),
Rosemarie Lang (Mezzo Soprano), Regina Werner (Soprano)
Conductor:  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  Leipzig St. Thomas Church Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 15 Minutes 44 Secs. 
8.
Ach wie flüchtig, ach wie nichtig, ist der Menschen Leben, BWV 26 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Regina Werner (Soprano), Peter Schreier (Tenor), Hermann-Christian Polster (Bass),
Rosemarie Lang (Alto)
Conductor:  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  Leipzig St. Thomas Church Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 15 Minutes 41 Secs. 
9.
Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste, BWV 106 "Actus tragicus" by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Dieter Weimann (Tenor), Hermann-Christian Polster (Bass), Rosemarie Lang (Alto)
Conductor:  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  Leipzig St. Thomas Church Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1708; Mühlhausen, Germany 
Length: 21 Minutes 42 Secs. 
10.
Erfreut euch, ihr Herzen, entweichet ihr Schmerzen, es lebet der Heiland, BWV 66 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Heidi Riess (Alto), Siegfried Lorenz (Bass), Eberhard Büchner (Tenor)
Conductor:  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  Leipzig St. Thomas Church Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 30 Minutes 57 Secs. 
11.
Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 61 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Arleen Augér (Soprano), Siegfried Lorenz (Bass), Peter Schreier (Tenor)
Conductor:  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig New Bach Collegium Musicum,  Leipzig St. Thomas Church Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1714; Cöthen, Germany 
Length: 15 Minutes 31 Secs. 
12.
Nun danket alle Gott, BWV 192 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Arleen Augér (Soprano), Theo Adam (Bass), Peter Schreier (Tenor),
Ortrun Wenkel (Alto)
Conductor:  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig New Bach Collegium Musicum,  Leipzig St. Thomas Church Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1730; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 13 Minutes 3 Secs. 
13.
Nun ist das Heil und die Kraft, BWV 50 [fragment] by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Arleen Augér (Soprano), Theo Adam (Bass), Ortrun Wenkel (Alto),
Peter Schreier (Tenor)
Conductor:  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig New Bach Collegium Musicum,  Leipzig St. Thomas Church Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: ?1723; ?Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 53 Secs. 
14.
Dazu ist erschienen der Sohn Gottes, BWV 40 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Arleen Augér (Soprano), Siegfried Lorenz (Bass), Peter Schreier (Tenor),
Ortrun Wenkel (Alto)
Conductor:  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig New Bach Collegium Musicum,  Leipzig St. Thomas Church Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Leipzig, Germany 
15.
Lass, Fürstin, lass noch einen Strahl, BWV 198 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Hermann-Christian Polster (Bass), Theo Adam (Bass), Rosemarie Lang (Alto),
Dieter Weimann (Tenor), Regina Werner (Soprano)
Conductor:  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  Leipzig St. Thomas Church Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1727; Leipzig, Germany 
16.
Wir danken dir, Gott, BWV 29 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Hermann-Christian Polster (Bass), Heidi Riess (Alto), Hans-Joachim Rotzsch (Tenor),
Regina Werner (Soprano)
Conductor:  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  Leipzig St. Thomas Church Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1731; Leipzig, Germany 
17.
Preise, Jerusalem, den Herrn, BWV 119 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Hermann-Christian Polster (Bass), Heidi Riess (Alto), Hans-Joachim Rotzsch (Tenor),
Regina Werner (Soprano)
Conductor:  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  Leipzig St. Thomas Church Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Leipzig, Germany 
18.
Schwingt freudig euch empor, BWV 36 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Arleen Augér (Soprano), Siegfried Lorenz (Bass), Peter Schreier (Tenor)
Conductor:  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig New Bach Collegium Musicum,  Leipzig St. Thomas Church Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1731; Leipzig, Germany 
19.
Unser Mund sei voll Lachens, BWV 110 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Arleen Augér (Soprano), Siegfried Lorenz (Bass), Peter Schreier (Tenor),
Ortrun Wenkel (Alto)
Conductor:  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig New Bach Collegium Musicum,  Leipzig St. Thomas Church Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Leipzig, Germany 
20.
Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 140 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Siegfried Lorenz (Bass), Peter Schreier (Tenor), Arleen Augér (Soprano)
Conductor:  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig New Bach Collegium Musicum,  Leipzig St. Thomas Church Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1731; Leipzig, Germany 
21.
Lobe den Herrn, den mächtigen König der Ehren, BWV 137 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Theo Adam (Bass), Arleen Augér (Soprano), Siegfried Lorenz (Bass),
Peter Schreier (Tenor), Ortrun Wenkel (Alto)
Conductor:  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig New Bach Collegium Musicum,  Leipzig St. Thomas Church Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Leipzig, Germany 
22.
Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis, BWV 21 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Theo Adam (Bass), Arleen Augér (Soprano), Siegfried Lorenz (Bass),
Peter Schreier (Tenor), Ortrun Wenkel (Alto)
Conductor:  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig New Bach Collegium Musicum,  Leipzig St. Thomas Church Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1714; Cöthen, Germany 
23.
Der Himmel lacht! die Erde jubilieret, BWV 31 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Eberhard Büchner (Tenor), Helga Termer (Soprano)
Conductor:  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  Leipzig St. Thomas Church Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1715; Cöthen, Germany 
24.
Gott ist mein König, BWV 71 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Ortrun Wenkel (Alto), Siegfried Lorenz (Bass), Peter Schreier (Tenor),
Arleen Augér (Soprano)
Conductor:  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig New Bach Collegium Musicum,  Leipzig St. Thomas Church Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708; Mühlhausen, Germany 
25.
Gott, der Herr, ist Sonn und Schild, BWV 79 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Theo Adam (Bass), Arleen Augér (Soprano), Ortrun Wenkel (Alto),
Peter Schreier (Tenor)
Conductor:  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig New Bach Collegium Musicum,  Leipzig St. Thomas Church Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Leipzig, Germany 
26.
Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, BWV 80 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Theo Adam (Bass), Arleen Augér (Soprano), Peter Schreier (Tenor),
Ortrun Wenkel (Alto)
Conductor:  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig New Bach Collegium Musicum,  Leipzig St. Thomas Church Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1744; Leipzig, Germany 
27.
Christ lag in Todesbanden, BWV 4 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter Schreier (Tenor), Ortrun Wenkel (Alto), Ludwig Güttler (Trumpet)
Conductor:  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig New Bach Collegium Musicum,  Leipzig St. Thomas Church Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708; Weimar, Germany 
28.
Magnificat in D major, BWV 243 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Doris Soffel (Alto), Hermann-Christian Polster (Bass), Mitsuko Shirai (Soprano),
Peter Schreier (Tenor)
Conductor:  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig New Bach Collegium Musicum,  Leipzig St. Thomas Church Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1728-1731; Leipzig, Germany 

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