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Bach: Motets / Marcus Creed, Vocalconsort Berlin

Bach / Vocalconsort Berlin / Creed
Release Date: 03/08/2011 
Label:  Harmonia Mundi   Catalog #: 902079  
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Marcus Creed
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Vocal Consort
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Harmonia Mundi already has a fine set of the six Bach Motets in its catalog – by René Jacobs and the RIAS-Kammerchor – but this excellent new one ups the ante with the inclusion of a seventh motet, Ich lasse dich nicht, du segnest mich denn BWV Anh. 159, misattributed for years to Bach's second cousin Johann Christoph but now all but certainly regarded as an early work by the master himself. It's now common to include the work on recordings with the traditional group of six – Rilling (Hänssler), Hilliard Ensemble (ECM), Holten (Glossa), Suzuki (BIS) – just as it's also often excluded, along with Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden BWV 230, by overly fussy "authenticists" who refuse to
Read more accept the strong stylistic evidence of Bach's authorship and prefer instead to banish these wonderful pieces from the Bach canon. For me, I'd rather err on the side of inclusion, and would ask the doubters to please tell us who in fact did compose them if Bach didn't.

With that in mind, the present recording makes a first-rate impression in every category, from the thoughtful programming to the exemplary performances to the vibrant, clear, naturally balanced sound. Yes, there are many very good performances of these works, but Marcus Creed and his Vocalconsort Berlin go beyond most of those renditions to give us readings that look beneath the literal surface of both music and texts – there is a slight give in the tempos, a little more shape to dynamics, and a proper acknowledgment that there's an emotional aspect to these works, whether celebratory or more solemn, that demands more than a technically polished presentation. Komm, Jesu, komm is the best example here, where Creed and his singers so effectively – and affectingly – capture the moods and meaning, from resignation to hopeful anticipation. There's a small continuo accompaniment – violone and organ – that lends complementary, unobtrusive support to the voices.

While the Channel Classics reference recording remains a top choice for the "traditional six", this one leaves Bach fans little recourse but to enrich their collections with a set of the truly authentic, "magnificent seven."

– David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Singet Dem Hern, BWV 225 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Marcus Creed
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Vocal Consort
2.
Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf, BWV 226 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Marcus Creed
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Vocal Consort
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1729; Leipzig, Germany 
3.
Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Marcus Creed
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Vocal Consort
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Leipzig, Germany 
4.
Fürchte dich nicht, ich bin bei dir, BWV 228 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Marcus Creed
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Vocal Consort
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726; Leipzig, Germany 
5.
Komm, Jesu, komm!, BWV 229 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Marcus Creed
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Vocal Consort
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1725-1749; Leipzig, Germany 
6.
Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden, BWV 230 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Marcus Creed
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Vocal Consort
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1723-1729; Leipzig, Germany 
7.
Ich lasse dich nicht, BWV Anh. 159 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Period: Baroque 

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