Holiday Shop


WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Bach: Cantatas Vol 8 / Suzuki, Bach Collegium Japan


Release Date: 11/01/1998 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 901   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gerd TürkYoshikazu MeraPeter KooyMidori Suzuki
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

One has to wonder whether anyone, Bach included, could have imagined what his decision to leave Cöthen for Leipzig in 1723 would come to mean to the larger world. For starters, Bach probably never expected to stay in Leipzig for the rest of his life. For the city itself, the move would bring a measure of prestige—Bach was, after all, a celebrated organ virtuoso—and much stimulating, if often challenging music, but also the frustration of dealing with a bona fide genius, whose intellectual and artistic superiority could never quite be reconciled with his inferior status as an employee. For Bach, it caused a complete change in lifestyle: From being a princely favorite with unprecedented freedom to pursue his musical instincts, he became Read more the artistic equivalent of a salary man, required to produce regularly, under great time pressure, and always constrained by the limited understanding of—and resources made available by—management. For posterity, it has meant that the enormous creative energy that, in Calvinist Cöthen, had gone into secular and mostly instrumental music, was now, for five remarkable years—and then some—in Lutheran Leipzig, channeled into mostly vocal sacred music. The sonatas and concertos thus lost gave us instead that incomparable body of music we call the church cantatas. Was it a fair trade? Well, who's to say? But it's hard to think that the world would be a better place without Cantatas 51, 78, 82, 140, or 147, just to name a handful of the more obvious examples.

The three cantatas on this disc are the first that Bach wrote for Leipzig. Cantatas 22 and 23 are a linked pair, written as test pieces and designed to demonstrate the composer's range. Thus BWV 23, written mostly in Cöthen, is solemn; BWV 22, composed on the spot, is more "modern," one supposes to indicate that Bach was aware of contemporary tastes and trends. They were performed together at Leipzig February 1723, before the new arrangement became permanent. The first cantata written after Bach had assumed his new duties was BWV 75. It is one of the largest of all the church cantatas, comprising no fewer than 14 movements in two parts. Suzuki, in his usually excellent notes, points out that the number 14 was Bach's signature number (B=2+A-l+C=3+H=8). The scoring features the unusual inclusion of a solo trumpet in a melodic role—that is, not simply to provide fanfarelike punctuations. Its initial performance on the first Sunday of Trinity, 1723, was Bach's introduction to the congregation as its new musical leader, and one can only wonder about the reaction of the attending parishioners.

Once again, Suzuki's performances are as insightful as his thoughtful notes, and his mostly Japanese ensemble (except for soloists Türk and Kooij and oboist Alfredo Bernardini) again demonstrates its mastery of the idiom. For the record, the mixed chorus numbers 16, and 11 stringed instruments participate (3-3-2-2-1). Midori Suzuki returns to top the outstanding vocal quartet. BIS's sound is, as expected, first-rate, and this disc newest entry in the ongoing cantatas series is self-recommending.

-- George Chien, FANFARE
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Jesus nahm zu sich die Zwölfe, BWV 22 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gerd Türk (Tenor), Yoshikazu Mera (Countertenor), Peter Kooy (Bass)
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Cöthen, Germany 
Date of Recording: 05/1998 
Venue:  Kobe Shoin University Chapel, Japan 
Length: 16 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Language: German 
2.
Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn, BWV 23 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Yoshikazu Mera (Countertenor), Gerd Türk (Tenor), Midori Suzuki (Soprano)
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Cöthen, Germany 
Date of Recording: 05/1998 
Venue:  Kobe Shoin University Chapel, Japan 
Length: 15 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: German 
3.
Die Elenden sollen essen, dass sie satt werden, BWV 75 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gerd Türk (Tenor), Yoshikazu Mera (Countertenor), Midori Suzuki (Soprano),
Peter Kooy (Bass)
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Cöthen, Germany 
Date of Recording: 05/1998 
Venue:  Kobe Shoin University Chapel, Japan 
Length: 30 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Language: German 

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