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Bach: Cantatas Vol 46 / Suzuki, Bach Collegium Japan

Bach,J.s. / Bach Collegium Japan
Release Date: 06/29/2010 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 1851  
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Hana BlazikovaGerd TürkRobin BlazePeter Kooy
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This hybrid disc plays on both CD & SACD players.

BACH Cantatas: No. 17; 1,2,3,4 No. 19; 1,3,4 No. 45; 2,3,4 No. 102 2,3,4 Masaaki Suzuki, cond; Bach Collegium Japan (period instruments); 1 Hana Blažíková (sop); 2 Robin Blaze (ct); Read more class="SUPER12">3 Gerd Türk (ten); 4 Peter Kooij (bs) BIS 1851 (SACD: 76:24 Text and Translation)


Masaaki Suzuki continues his estimable series with Volume 46 of the complete Bach cantatas. The latter half of the year 1726 saw the creation of these pieces, done at a time when Bach was not writing as many of his own and making use of the work of other composers in his churchly duties. Johann Ludwig Bach composed the texts for these cantatas, from a cycle of the church years published in Meiningen in 1704, and evidently a great inspiration for Sebastian Bach. All except No. 19 are bipartite in form, beginning with a quote from the Old Testament, followed by a parallel quote from the New at the beginning of part I. No. 19 is dedicated to Michaelmas.


But what sets these apart is the almost symphonic conception of the opening choruses, boisterous and energetic, and even the timings indicate that something is up—4:07, 4:08, 5:19, and 5:35, respectively (according to the order in the head note) are quite extensive for the cantatas in general, and it gives Bach ample opportunity to develop his music in the way that perhaps only the Passions allow. The extended division of the works also gives him time to accentuate the differences in mood among movements, more dramatically than in some other cantatas. Though these pieces are taking place in comparatively bland seasons—10th (102), eighth (45), 14th (17) after Trinity, and St. Michael (19) Sundays, respectively, the depth of compositional effort is a little startling. The last particularly was always celebrated with much splendor and high drama, and Bach does not disappoint; right from the start, without benefit of orchestral introduction the choir enters the fray with blazing coloraturas. This is after all, music about a war in heaven. But the trumpets and timpani ensure that by the end no one is in doubt as to the victor, and all leave the church suitably exalted.


O Lord, Are Not Thine Eyes Upon the Truth (No. 102) must have blown away some parishioners with its massive sweep and concise themes used as the basis for the entire cantata. No. 45, He Hath Showed Thee, O Man, What Is Good takes as its theme obedience, and Bach demonstrates this musically by using only one theme in the opening movement, expanding the argument brilliantly combining fugal and concertante elements. This is perhaps the most relaxed of the works on this disc, each movement in possession of noble bearing and high stature. Whoso Offereth Praise Glorifieth Me (No. 17) is the most joyous on the disc, amplified by the tight and unified structure of the opening movement, even though the final chorus may be considered more reflective as it speaks of mankind’s very short passage through life, and implores pity from the Father.


As I have mentioned before, Suzuki’s renderings are definitely a believer’s Bach, more impassioned and assertive than others. Recently I have had a chance to listen to all of Koopman’s recordings and have to fess up to a mistaken judgment; while they are not as demonstrative as these, they are a valid take on a many-faceted music, and I now reverse myself on my previously harsh opinions. Even so, this one sounds great in Super Audio, and if push came to shove I would still recommend these over all others currently offered. Bring on Volume 47!


FANFARE: Steven E. Ritter
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Works on This Recording

1.
Herr, deine Augen sehen nach dem Glauben, BWV 102 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Hana Blazikova (Soprano), Gerd Türk (Tenor), Robin Blaze (Countertenor),
Peter Kooy (Bass)
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726; Leipzig, Germany 
2.
Es erhub sich ein Streit, BWV 19 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Hana Blazikova (Soprano), Gerd Türk (Tenor), Robin Blaze (Countertenor),
Peter Kooy (Bass)
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726; Leipzig, Germany 
3.
Wer Dank opfert, der preiset mich, BWV 17 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Hana Blazikova (Soprano), Gerd Türk (Tenor), Robin Blaze (Countertenor),
Peter Kooy (Bass)
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726; Leipzig, Germany 
4.
Es ist dir gesagt, Mensch, was gut ist, BWV 45 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Hana Blazikova (Soprano), Gerd Türk (Tenor), Robin Blaze (Countertenor),
Peter Kooy (Bass)
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726; Leipzig, Germany 

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