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Bach: Orchestral Works / Alfeyev, Russian National Orchestra


Release Date: 07/21/2017 
Label:  Pentatone   Catalog #: 5186593  
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Stephan GenzAlya Vodovozova
Conductor:  Hilarion Alfeyev
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian National Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Russia’s foremost composer Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev’s compositions are noted for their deep spirituality and commitment. With this new release from PENTATONE, he brings the same sense of awe and wonder to the music of Bach in a series of riveting performances, including the achingly beautiful solo cantata Ich habe genug and the ever-popular Orchestral Suite No. 2. The programme also contains Alfeyev’s breath-taking arrangements of Bach’s organ masterpieces Ich ruf’ zu Dir, Herr Jesu Christ and the colossal Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor. Bach’s deceptively simple choral prelude, the plaintive Ich ruf’ zu Dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 639 is a masterpiece of humility and restraint. In Alfeyev’s masterly arrangement, the voice of the Read more supplicant is moved between different sections of the orchestra, underscoring the universality of the prayer. Bach’s most famous solo cantata, the haunting Ich habe genug, BWV 82, radiates a profound sense of resignation with its gentle swaying rhythms and exquisite writing for solo oboe; its central aria, Schlummert ein, ihr matten Augen, is an oasis of calm and transcendence with its warmly uplifting bass solo. In a somewhat lighter vein, Bach revels in his mastery of the French style in his Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B minor, BWV 1067, an irresistible collection of dances – both aristocratic and popular – which closes with a mischievous Badinerie. Resplendent with orchestral colour and powerful, full-throated brass, Alfeyev’s arrangement for full orchestra of the mighty Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor BWV 582 for organ is an enthralling conclusion to a compelling programme. “Bach’s music is not a museum piece. Living in modern times, we have full rights to use the full scale of modern means of expression in order to translate to the listener the outstanding grandeur and timeless beauty of his music.” (Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev)

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REVIEW:

The CD medium is currently redolent with many orchestrations of the music of Bach—it is a temptation that composers and arrangers seem unable to resist—but this disc is something out of the ordinary and will appeal even to those who feel their shelves groaning under the weight of such transcriptions. Russia’s foremost composer, the curiously named Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev’s compositional skills are brought to bear on the music of Bach including the haunting solo cantata Ich habe genug and the ever-popular Orchestral Suite No. 2. The programme also contains Alfeyev’s arrangements of Bach’s organ masterpieces Ich ruf’ zu Dir, Herr Jesu Christ and the colossal Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor.

– Classical CD Choice Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Orgelbüchlein: Ich ruf'zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 639 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Hilarion Alfeyev
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian National Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1713-1717; Weimar, Germany 
2.
Ich habe genug, BWV 82 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Stephan Genz (Baritone)
Conductor:  Hilarion Alfeyev
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian National Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1727; Cöthen, Germany 
3.
Suite for Orchestra no 2 in B minor, BWV 1067 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Alya Vodovozova (Flute)
Conductor:  Hilarion Alfeyev
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian National Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1738-1739; Leipzig, Germany 
4.
Passacaglia in C minor, BWV 582 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Hilarion Alfeyev
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian National Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1708-1712; Arnstadt, Germany 

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