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Bach: Magnificat, Cantata Bwv 80 / Herreweghe, Et Al


Release Date: 06/10/2003 
Label:  Harmonia Mundi   Catalog #: 3001326   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Agnès MellonGérard LesneHoward CrookPeter Kooy,   ... 
Conductor:  Philippe Herreweghe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chapelle Royale ParisCollegium Vocale
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 53 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Philippe Herreweghe's spirited, stylish, vibrantly recorded Magnificat from 1990 is a welcome re-entry to the catalog (it also was included in a CD-Rom set with the B minor Mass a couple of years ago). This time it's available in a budget-priced "CD + Catalog" package, and the thick, full-color 2003 "le catalogue" makes a nice bonus for fans of Harmonia Mundi or for newcomers who, after hearing these essential Bach masterpieces will certainly want to explore more titles by these same (and other) performers. For the Magnificat, Herreweghe has assembled one of his finer groups of soloists, an important factor in a work whose heart--seven of its 12 sections--is composed of music for solo singers. Particularly affecting are Read more soprano Agnès Mellon and countertenor Gérard Lesne, whose Esurientes is a model of emotional tenderness and vocal lyricism. Although the orchestra is as polished, articulate, and colorful as usual, trumpets could use more of the brilliance and exuberance that the choir exhibits in force. In fact, it's impossible not to be impressed by the choral singing whether in the brief flourishes of the Omnes generationes and Fecit potentiam or the carefully, delicately phrased Sicut locutus est, or the big, robust opening and final sections.


The Cantata BWV 80 "Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott", surely one of the most famous of the chorale-based works, also receives a strong performance. Again the chorus is radiant and Herreweghe shows great care with balances (chorale melody against orchestra in the fifth movement, for example) and keeps the pacing lively and internal lines clean and clear. However, soprano Barbara Schlick sounds unusually quivery in her solos, especially in the second movement where she sings the chorale tune against bass Peter Kooy's obbligato (accompanied by one of Bach's wonderful trademark dancing string figures). But the countertenor/tenor duet "Wie selig sind doch die" is a gem, and overall the sound is full-bodied and complementary to voices and instruments. While Rilling's soloists in the Magnificat may be just that much more engaging than Herreweghe's, and while Gardiner's choral/orchestral sections may have a slightly more dramatic edge, these performances are as satisfying as any, and above all, are intelligently conceived and lovingly realized.
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Magnificat in D major, BWV 243 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Agnès Mellon (Soprano), Gérard Lesne (Countertenor), Howard Crook (Tenor),
Peter Kooy (Baritone), Barbara Schlick (Soprano)
Conductor:  Philippe Herreweghe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chapelle Royale Paris,  Collegium Vocale
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1728-1731; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 28 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
2. Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, BWV 80 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Barbara Schlick (Soprano), Gérard Lesne (Countertenor), Howard Crook (Tenor),
Peter Kooy (Bass)
Conductor:  Philippe Herreweghe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chapelle Royale Paris,  Collegium Vocale
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1744; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 24 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Language: German 

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