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Bach: Cantatas Vol 10 / Suzuki, Bach Collegium Japan


Release Date: 09/01/1999 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 951   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Makoto SakuradaMiah PerssonPeter KooyRobin Blaze
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 3 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This 10th volume in BIS's ongoing Bach cantata series features three works Bach composed during his first summer in Leipzig. While BWV 179 certainly has been recorded more frequently, BVW 186 (Ärgre dich, o Seele, nicht) is the most significant of the three because of its greater length and because it marks Bach's return to two-part cantata form. Based on a revised lost cantata originally composed at Weimar, this is a remarkably assured work, grand in conception yet subtle in its underlying beauty. The opening chorus must be counted among Bach's most stately, its impact augmented by multiple oboes, strings, and full continuo. Among the soloists, tenor Makato Sakurada delivers an introspective fourth-movement recitative that perfectly Read more sets up his spirited fifth-movement aria. Equally distinguished is the 10th-movement duet, expertly harmonized by countertenor Robin Blaze and soprano Miah Persson--a dance that steps as high as any we've heard from Bach so far.

The popularity of BWV 179--Siehe zu, dass deine Gottesfurcht nicht Heuchelei sei (Make sure that your fear of God is not hypocrisy)--is understandable since it not only includes one of Bach's most exciting opening choruses, but also gives unusual dramatic license to the soloists through the text's many self-deprecating references. In respect to the latter, for its sheer declarative power, no recording surpasses Karl Richter's awe-inspiring 1976 Archiv account featuring Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Peter Schreier, and Edith Mathis. While not quite up to Richter's level, Suzuki and his forces offer their own interpretive details. For instance, in the fifth-movement aria Suzuki broadens the tempo, and the additional time (more than a minute longer than Richter's version) heightens Persson's characterization of wanton shame and pity. The only performance slower than Suzuki's (more than a minute longer!) is Gunther Ramin's, where Elisabeth Meinel-Asbahr's ruthless, devastating anguish guarantees tears.

BWV 105--Herr, gehe nicht ins Gericht mit deinem Knecht (Lord, do not enter into judgment with thy servant)--also features many inspired moments. The magnificent, brooding opening chorus is most engaging, and tenor Sakurada's beautifully rendered espousal of determination in his fifth-movement aria is superb--as is the final chorale, where Bach's clever, near-dissonant string writing effectively alludes to weariness if not weeping, the gradually slowing pulse eventually leading to resigned calm.

As usual with this series Suzuki and his colleagues deliver performances that more often than not are without peer. Faithfully captured by BIS's expert engineering team, their ongoing cycle promises to be the most consistently rewarding one currently or previously available.

--John Greene, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Siehe zu, dass deine Gottesfurcht nicht Heuchelei sei, BWV 179 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Makoto Sakurada (Tenor), Miah Persson (Soprano), Peter Kooy (Bass)
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Leipzig, Germany 
2.
Herr, gehe nicht ins Gericht mit deinem Knecht, BWV 105 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Robin Blaze (Countertenor), Makoto Sakurada (Tenor), Peter Kooy (Bass),
Miah Persson (Soprano)
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Leipzig, Germany 
3.
Ärgre dich, o Seele, nicht, BWV 186 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Makoto Sakurada (Tenor), Peter Kooy (Bass), Miah Persson (Soprano),
Robin Blaze (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Leipzig, Germany 

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