WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

The Voice Of Bach / Taylor, Theatre Of Early Music


Release Date: 02/03/2009 
Label:  Rca Victor Red Seal Catalog #: 729031   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Daniel Taylor
Conductor:  Daniel Taylor
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Theatre of Early Music
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



BACH Cantatas: No. 4: Sinfonia; No. 78: Wir eilen mit schwachen; 1 No. 23: Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn; 1 No. 12: Sinfonia; No. 21: Sinfonia. O Jesu Christ, mein Lebens Licht. St. Matthew Passion: Erbarme dich. St. John Passion: Read more class="ARIAL12i"> Es ist vollbracht! Vor deinen Thron tret’ich hiermit. Christmas Oratorio: Schliesse, mein Herze; Bereite dich, Zion Daniel Taylor (ct, cond); Agnes Zsigovics (sop); 1 Theatre of Early Music O & Ch (period instruments) RCA 729031 (52:03)


I had two separate reactions to countertenor Daniel Taylor’s newest release, boldly titled “The Voice of Bach,” and his first as an exclusive RCA artist. The initial one was just how much better this is than David Daniels’s similar Bach recital released on Virgin late last year. The consequent one was that, no matter how well sung or how beautiful the voice, Bach does not lend itself to the pick-and-choose approach in the same way that Handel does.


Indeed, this disc seems to be part of a trend where a few years ago a slew of singers—countertenors notably among them—relentlessly released Handel aria albums; and now it’s Bach’s turn. Whereas Daniels checks off one aria after another, ordered by source (B-Minor Mass, the Passions, three cantatas), Taylor builds a program around select vocal pieces and Sinfonias to create an all-alto featuring Bach cantata chimera. You can tell that Taylor is not just a countertenor but also the leader of the Theatre of Early Music (and its choir), which performs absolutely splendidly. It’s a much more well rounded, much more varied program and hence more easily listened to than the seemingly random plucking of Bach’s greatest alto hits à la Daniels.


Whereas the former disc might only be of interest to countertenor fans, Taylor’s disc is just primarily interesting for friends of the high male voice. Incidentally, Taylor’s voice on this disc should be very attractive to countertenor skeptics. Unlike the artifice that countertenors can be tinged with compared to altos or mezzos, the extraordinary purity of the Canadian’s voice leaves little rational reason to prefer a female interpreter—or, for that matter, little indication that it is a man singing. If any criticism could be applied at all, it’s that of his voice being so clean as to be devoid of particular character.


With its diversity of vocal, choral, and orchestral pieces, flawless singing, a most pleasant voice, and first-rate instrumental backup, this disc can be highly recommended for what it is. But if Bach, rather than a particular type of voice, is the focus of your listening, I suggest a collection of complete Bach works will prove far more rewarding. I take this from listening to this disc: were Taylor to record some of the cantatas Bach wrote for alto (or baritone), I’d prefer his recording to those of Bowman (Hyperion) and Blaze (BIS), or a hypothetical such release by David Daniels or any other counter I can think of, except José Lemos.


FANFARE: Jens F. Laurson
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Christ lag in Todesbanden, BWV 4: no 1, Sinfonia in E minor by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Daniel Taylor
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Theatre of Early Music
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708; Weimar, Germany 
2.
Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244: no 47, Erbarme dich by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Daniel Taylor (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Daniel Taylor
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Theatre of Early Music
Period: Baroque 
Written: ?1727; Leipzig, Germany 
3.
Jesu, der du meine Seele, BWV 78: Wir eilen mit schwachen, doch emsigen Schritten, o Jesu, o Meister by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Daniel Taylor (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Daniel Taylor
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Theatre of Early Music
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724; Leipzig, Germany 
4.
O Jesu Christ, mein Lebens Licht, BWV 118b by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Daniel Taylor (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Daniel Taylor
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Theatre of Early Music
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1736-1737; Leipzig, Germany 
5.
Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen, BWV 12: no 1, Sinfonia in F minor by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Daniel Taylor
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Theatre of Early Music
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1714; Cöthen, Germany 
6.
Saint John Passion, BWV 245: no 58, Es ist vollbracht by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Daniel Taylor (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Daniel Taylor
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Theatre of Early Music
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724; Leipzig, Germany 
7.
Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn, BWV 23: Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Daniel Taylor (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Daniel Taylor
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Theatre of Early Music
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Cöthen, Germany 
8.
Vor deinen Thron tret'ich hiermit, BWV 668 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Daniel Taylor (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Daniel Taylor
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Theatre of Early Music
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1723; ?Weimar, Germany 
9.
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: no 31, Schliesse, mein Herze by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Daniel Taylor (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Daniel Taylor
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Theatre of Early Music
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1734-1735; Leipzig, Germany 
10.
Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis, BWV 21: no 1, Sinfonia in C minor by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Daniel Taylor
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Theatre of Early Music
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1714; Cöthen, Germany 
11.
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: no 4, Bereite dich, Zion by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Daniel Taylor (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Daniel Taylor
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Theatre of Early Music
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1734-1735; Leipzig, Germany 

Customer Reviews

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




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In