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Sacred Music Of The Bach Family / Rilling, Bach Collegium Stuttgart

Bach Family / Bach-collegium Stuttgart / Rilling
Release Date: 06/29/2010 
Label:  Hänssler Classic   Catalog #: 98614   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann BachJohann Ludwig BachJohann Sebastian BachGeorg Christoph Bach,   ... 
Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Bach Collegium
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



SACRED MUSIC OF THE BACH FAMILY Helmuth Rilling, cond; Arleen Augér 1 , Kathrin Graf 2 , Uta Spreckelsen 3 (sop); Julia Hamari 3 , Gabriele Schnauf 4 , Erika Schmidt-Valentin 5 , Helen Watts 6 (alt); Aldo Baldin Read more class="SUPER12">7 , Arthur Janzen 8 , Adalbert Kraus 9 (ten); Walter Heldwein 10 , Philippe Huttenlocher 11 (bar); Richard Anlauf 12 , Wolfgang Schöne 13 , Niklaus Tüller 14 (bs); Bach Ens HANSSLER 98.614 (3 CDs: 193:38)


JOHANN BACH 4,8,9,10,12,14 Unser Leben istr ein Schatten. J. L. BACH 2,6,7,9,13 Die mit Tränen säen. J. S. BACH Ich lasse dich nicht, du segnest mich. GEORG C. BACH 7,11,14 Siehe, wie fein und lieblich ist’s. J. N. BACH 3,5,7,14 Missa brevis, “Allein Gott in her Höh sei ehr.” W. F. E. BACH 9,13 Vater unser. W. F. BACH 1,6,9,11 Erzittert und fallet. J. C. BACH Introitus und Kyrie der Totenmesse. 1,9,13 Dies irae. HEINRICH BACH 3 Ach das ich Wassers g’nug hätte in meinem Haupte. J. CHRISTOPH BACH Wie bist du denn, o Gott. J. MICHAEL BACH Sei, lieber Tag, willkommen. J. E. BACH 1 Die Liebe Gottes ist ausgegossen. J. C. F. BACH Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme


Here we have a three-CD set that revives an almost bewildering number of composers in the Bach family, the first of whom was born in 1604 and the last of whom died in 1845. The particular focus, however, is on J. S. Bach’s several predecessors—most of whom were also named Johann—and his illustrious sons, omitting only the greatest composer of all of them, C. P. E. Bach, only because he didn’t write any sacred music. Despite its anthology status it is an extremely interesting set to listen to. Some of these earlier Bachs, particularly Johann, Johann Ludwig, and Georg Christian, wrote some extremely interesting and original music, whereas the last of them, Wilhelm Friedrich Ernst, wrote formulaic music of little interest. It was perhaps the plethora of earlier Johann Bachs, plus (undoubtedly) an inability of his peers to see the underlying complexity and originality of his music, that led the burghers of Leipzig to feel that in hiring J. S. Bach as organist, choral director, and composer, they were “hiring a mediocrity.” Of course they were wrong, but as so often happens, this is only evident in hindsight.


I’ve read several times from other critics in Fanfare that W. F. Bach’s music impresses them the most of J. S.’s sons, but if this piece—a half-hour religious cantata for orchestra, chorus, and soloists—is representative, I’d have to disagree. Yet I will reserve judgment until I’ve heard other works by him for, even more so that their father (who turned out many a cantata on autopilot), Bach’s sons often had to write in specific styles for specific assignments and venues. No one who only knows C. P. E. Bach’s flute music written when he was in the employ of King Ludwig would even recognize the explosive genius who wrote those later symphonies, concertos, and solo keyboard works that so inspired Haydn and even young Beethoven.


A perfect example of what I mean is to move in one’s listening from W. F.’s cantata to the Introitus and Kyrie and Dies irae of J. C. Bach. I have heard, and even reviewed, several other works by “the London Bach” that are of variable quality, but in these two pieces one can absolutely hear the enormous influence he had on the then-young Mozart. By his own admission, J. C. was not always inspired when writing his music, particularly his operas, but in these two works musical ideas virtually explode in the listener’s ears, and it all works. To put it succinctly, these pieces sound so much like Mozart that I’m positive that many a listener would pick that composer in a blindfold test—except that J. C. Bach is a little less sweet-and-pleasant and a little more dramatic and incisive in his writing. Despite many other fine moments in some of the other works, for me these pieces by J. C. are the highlight of this collection. They’re simply fantastic.


One reason I asked to review this set, aside from the chance to hear a barrel of Bachs I’d not previously auditioned, is that I am and always will be a fan of Helmuth Rilling. I never realized, growing up, just how young Rilling was when making all those marvelous records for Vox, Turnabout, and other labels, so he is now just around 80 and still going strong. He believes in a reduced orchestra and chorus, proper Baroque rhythm and accents in voices and instruments, but not in period instruments or one-voice-to-a-part choral singing. In short, he is a musician, not a dry sound freak. He conducts, as he has throughout his career, with expression, warmth, and an obvious love for the music, so the better the work the more impressive his skills. With the exception of the J. L. Bach, Georg C. Bach, and J. C. Bach works, all of which are brilliant (I omit the one small piece by J. S. from discussion because of its brevity and formulaic content), this collection is more of a reference than a listening treat, but considering the wide variety of Bachs involved I think it a worthwhile investment if you can afford it.


FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
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Works on This Recording

1.
Unser Leben ist ein Schatten: no 5, Ach wie flüchtig, ach wie nichtig by Johann Bach
Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Bach Collegium
2.
Die mit Tränen säen by Johann Ludwig Bach
Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Bach Collegium
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
3.
Ich lasse dich nicht, BWV Anh. 159: Es ist vollbracht by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Bach Collegium
4.
Siehe, wie fein und lieblich "Geburtstagkantate" by Georg Christoph Bach
Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Bach Collegium
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1689; Germany 
5.
Missa Brevis "Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr" by Johann Nicolaus Bach
Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Bach Collegium
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1716; Germany 
6.
Vater unser by W. Friedrich Ernst Bach
Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Bach Collegium
Period: Classical 
7.
Erzittert und fallet, F 83: no 2, Was für reizend sanfte Blicke by Wilhelm Friedemann Bach
Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Bach Collegium
8.
Messa de' morti: Introitus by Johann Christian Bach
Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Bach Collegium
Period: Classical 
Written: 1757; Italy 
9.
Messa de' morti: Kyrie by Johann Christian Bach
Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Bach Collegium
Period: Classical 
Written: 1757; Italy 
10.
Messa de' morti: Dies irae by Johann Christian Bach
Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Bach Collegium
Period: Classical 
Written: 1757; Italy 
11.
Ach, dass ich Wassers gnug hätte by Heinrich Bach
Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Bach Collegium
Period: Baroque 
12.
Wie bist du denn, o Gott by Johann Christoph Bach
Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Bach Collegium
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
13.
Sei, lieber Tag willkommen by Johann Michael Bach
Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Bach Collegium
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
14.
Die Liebe Gottes ies ausgegossen by Johann Ernst Bach
Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Bach Collegium
Period: Baroque 
15.
Motets (2), HW 15: Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme by J. C. F. Bach
Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Bach Collegium
Period: Classical 
Written: Germany 

Sound Samples

Unser Leben ist ein Schatten
Die mit Tranen saen
Ich lasse dich nicht, du segnest mich denn, BWV Anh. 159
Siehe, wie fein und lieblich ist es
Missa brevis, "Allein Gott in der Hoh sei Ehr"
Vater unser
Erzittert und fallet, F. 83
Introit and Kyrie, W. E11
Dies irae, W. E12

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