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Bach: The Motets / Pedersen, Norwegian Soloists' Choir, Ensemble Allegria


Release Date: 01/05/2018 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 2251  
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Grete Pedersen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Norwegian Soloists' ChoirEnsemble Allegria
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Bach's motets are surrounded by much uncertainty. To begin with, we do not know how many he actually composed, as some have been lost while others have been wrongly attributed to him. Although several of the motets were written for funerals, it is also uncertain if they were actually performed during church services: as a genre, the motet was established as early as the 13th century and by Bach's time it was considered to be old-fashioned and backward-looking. Even so, the motets are the only vocal works by Bach that have an unbroken performance tradition until the present time, which may serve as testimony to the powerful response that they induce in listeners and performers alike. They were originally believed to have been composed for Read more choir a cappella, but it is now thought that Bach himself may have performed them either a cappella or with instruments doubling the vocal parts and with basso continuo. For this recording, Grete Pedersen has opted for variety, performing four of the works with the support of the instrumentalists of Ensemble Allegria, and the remaining three with organ continuo. As on their previous, highly acclaimed releases on BIS, the Norwegian Soloists’ Choir shine in what surely is the absolute core repertoire for mixed choir.

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REVIEWS:

The opening of Komm, Jesu, komm entices. The antiphonal pleas are so lovingly shaped and delectably blended it’s impossible not to surrender. But does beauty of sound and ‘finish’ become an end in itself? A real tour de force!

– BBC Music Magazine

This is an outstanding disc of outstanding music. They get to the heart of these magnificent works in what feels a completely natural way, without any of the sense of over-interpretation that can detract. In addition to the standard six motets, Pedersen includes O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht (BWV 118), in which Ensemble Allegria’s oboes find an appropriately mournful yet sinuous tone.

– Choir & Organ (March 2018) Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Komm, Jesu, komm!, BWV 229 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Grete Pedersen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Norwegian Soloists' Choir,  Ensemble Allegria
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1725-1749; Leipzig, Germany 
2.
Fürchte dich nicht, ich bin bei dir, BWV 228 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Grete Pedersen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Norwegian Soloists' Choir,  Ensemble Allegria
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726; Leipzig, Germany 
3.
Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf, BWV 226 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Grete Pedersen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Norwegian Soloists' Choir,  Ensemble Allegria
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1729; Leipzig, Germany 
4.
Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Grete Pedersen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Norwegian Soloists' Choir,  Ensemble Allegria
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Leipzig, Germany 
5.
Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden, BWV 230 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Grete Pedersen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Norwegian Soloists' Choir,  Ensemble Allegria
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1723-1729; Leipzig, Germany 
6.
O Jesu Christ, mein Lebens Licht, BWV 118 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Grete Pedersen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Norwegian Soloists' Choir,  Ensemble Allegria
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Leipzig, Germany 
7.
Singet Dem Hern, BWV 225 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Grete Pedersen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Norwegian Soloists' Choir,  Ensemble Allegria

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