WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Bach: Cantatas Bwv 27, 34, 41, 56, 82, 206, 207a, Motets

Bach: Cantatas Bwv 27 34 41 56 82 2
Release Date: 03/06/2012 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 976758  
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Christoph PrégardienPeter KooyRuth ZiesakMichael Chance,   ... 
Conductor:  Frieder BerniusGustav LeonhardtFrans Brüggen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Chamber ChoirConcerto CologneTölz Boys Choir,   ... 
Number of Discs: 5 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Recordings of some of the original recordings that make up this set:

Cantatas Bwv 207a & 206

Neither of these fine occasional pieces has received as much attention from recording companies as many other of Bach's secular cantatas. Auf, schmeiternde Tone der mun tern Trompeten dates from 1735 when it was evidently performed to celebrate the name day of the Elector Frederick Augustus II on August 3rd. All the material but three secco recitatives and a Marche, which does not form an integral part of the work but which was probably played during a procession, originate in an earlier cantata (No. 207) dating from 1726. On that occasion the fortunate recipient of Bach's genius was a Leipzig
Read more university professor. The opening movement will at once be familiar though not, perhaps, in its present form; it's an ingenious adaptation of the third movement of Brandenburg Concerto No. I in F major. Here the key becomes D major, the horns of the concerto now supplanted by trumpets and drums. The three oboes are joined by a pair of flutes and a four-part chorus occupies the principal stands of the original composition. Yet another inspired gesture lies in Bach's addition of an initial quaver up-beat, both accommodating the metre of the text and at the same time transforming the character of the piece which now strikes an altogether more overtly celebratory note. And Bach has a further surprise in store for anyone familiar with the same Brandenburg Concerto in as much as he introduces a robust instrumental ritornello after the soprano-bass duet borrowed from its second Trio but now scored for trumpets, oboes d'amore, oboe da caccia and pizzicato strings.

Soloists, choir and orchestra give a first-rate account of this captivating score. Michael Chance is on splendid form offering gratitude, fulsome and obsequious, to the reigning monarch, Augustus. And the others, too, seem to find little wrong with their Arcadian landscape, flowing it would seem with milk and honey. The director, Frieder Bernius, keeps the choruses and recitatives moving at a brisk pace, punctuating the music stylishly and effectively. The other cantata, Schleicht, spielende We//en, dates from 1736 when it was performed as part of the birthday of the selfsame Augustus. This dramma per ,nusica takes as its libretto a singularly inconsequential dispute between the principal rivers of the countries united under Augustus's rule. Each river competes with the other for the special affection of the monarch. I would unquestionably lavish mine on the Vistula (bass) which flows through Warsaw. He praises Augustus in a swaggering A major polonaise accompanied by strings. Its melody and rhythm haunt the memory and the bass Peter Kooy makes the most of it. Thereafter each river has its say before the Pleisse (soprano)—she flows through Leipzig and, since Augustus and his consort are at present resident there, she claims a "special relationship" with the sovereign—in the single accompanied recitative of the work proposes a chorus of praise. In addition to these solo numbers are two outstandingly effective choruses framing the cantata; and they are superbly sung, light of tread, well focused and admirably declaimed.

In short I have no serious reservations about this release. It is musically satisfying and the recorded sound is excellent. Some 66 minutes of uninterrupted pleasure—strongly commended but I regret the omission of the Marche appended to No. 207a; it's a splendid piece.

-- Gramophone [9/1991]

Cantatas BWV 27, 34 & 41

"The confluence of artistic endeavour on this new Sony disc of Bach cantatas recalls triumphs of yesteryear...The performances are stylistically assured, full of deep insights and subtle expressive nuance...some beautifully sustained woodwind playing here..."

-- Nicholas Anderson, Gramophone [1/1997]

Cantatas BWV 56 & 82

"The baritone Max van Egmond recorded these two solo cantatas just over 20 years ago, when his voice was at a peak. His intonation is excellent, his gently articulated inflections expressive, and the colour of his voice subtly varied but always evenly produced. Frans Brüggen’s Baroque Orchestra – which was shortly to become the now well-established Orchestra of the 18th Century – was still in its infancy...the performances are stylish throughout with a welcome consensus of opinion among singer and players in respect of phrasing and articulation."

-- Nicholas Anderson, BBC Music Magazine

Motets

Unlike so many recordings of Bach's motets that have been recorded over the past few years, this new one fully endorses the notion of colla pane instrumental accompaniment as opposed to the continuo support favoured by the Hilliard Ensemble (EMI, 4/88), Trinity College Choir, Cambridge (Conifer, 12/88), Christ Church, Oxford (ASV, 11/90), and The Sixteen (Hyperion, 11/90). Thus it sides with similarly based performances by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, the Stockholm Bach Choir and the Vienna Concentus Musicus (Teldec—still temporarily unavailable); and Philippe Herreweghe, the Collegium Vocale and La Chapelle Royale Chorus and Orchestra (Harmonia Mundi). All three field mixed choirs of women's and men's voices, while Bernius's ensemble consists of strings with oboe, oboe d'amore, oboe da caccia, bassoon and organ.

The director of the Stuttgart Chamber Choir, Frieder Bernius has chosen five of Bach's seven motets omitting the little 0 Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht (BWV1I8), and Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden (BWV230). It seems an odd decision since there is plenty of room for them on the disc and BWV118 with its obligatory instrumental support is surely ideal for a group such as this. What Bernius realizes in his performances is the wonderful variety that exists between and within each of these profoundly satisfying works. Bach's terms of reference seem almost infinite, and the means by which he draws them together masterly and virtuosic.

The singing is of a high order with beautifully balanced textures, disciplined ensemble and mainly dependable intonation. Phrasing is well thought out and articulate in performance though every now and again I felt the need for a crisper approach. Simple choral statements, where they occur, are inclined to be spongy and selfconscious but set against this is an admirable attention paid to the texts themselves. The great chromatic fugue which occupies the second half of Fiirehte dich nicht is lucid, though countertenors are inclined to hoot, and I liked the sense of purpose and direction. Perhaps the most successful performances here are of Singel dem Herrn and Jesu, meine Freude, both of which are relaxed; unhurried but with a strong pulse and a comfortable feeling of latent energy.

To sum up, here are performances which provide strong competition with Harnoncourt and Herreweghe. Only in the lack of BWV230 should it be considered a lesser candidate for consideration than the others. If you do not have a recording of these extraordinarily affecting works and feel that the inclusion of an instrumental ensemble is for you then the new issue is well worth considering. The recorded sound is lively and spacious.

-- N.A., Gramophone
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Schleicht spielende Wellen, BWV 206 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Christoph Prégardien (Tenor), Peter Kooy (Bass), Ruth Ziesak (Soprano),
Michael Chance (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Frieder Bernius
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Chamber Choir,  Concerto Cologne
Period: Baroque 
Written: 10/07/1733; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 37 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Language: German 
2. Auf, schmetternde Töne, BWV 207a by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Christoph Prégardien (Tenor), Peter Kooy (Bass),
Michael Chance (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Frieder Bernius
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Chamber Choir,  Concerto Cologne
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1735; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 29 Minutes 33 Secs. 
Language: German 
3. Wer weiss, wie nahe mir mein Ende, BWV 27 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Markus Schäfer (Tenor), Jonas Will (Boy Alto), Johannes Pohl (Boy Soprano),
Harry Van der Kamp (Bass)
Conductor:  Gustav Leonhardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tölz Boys Choir,  Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/1995 
Venue:  Doopsgezinde Church, Haarlem 
Language: German 
4. O ewiges Feuer, O Ursprung der Liebe, BWV 34 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Markus Schäfer (Tenor), Harry Van der Kamp (Bass), Michael Sapara (Alto)
Conductor:  Gustav Leonhardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tölz Boys Choir,  Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: after 1740; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/1995 
Venue:  Doopsgezinde Church, Haarlem 
Language: German 
5. Jesu, nun sei gepreiset, BWV 41 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Matthias Ritter (Boy Soprano), Jonas Will (Boy Alto), Harry Van der Kamp (Bass),
Markus Schäfer (Tenor)
Conductor:  Gustav Leonhardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tölz Boys Choir,  Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/1995 
Venue:  Doopsgezinde Church, Haarlem 
Language: German 
6. Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen, BWV 56 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Max van Egmond (Baritone), Michiel Ten Houte de Lange (Tenor), Harry Van der Kamp (Bass),
Lodewijk Meeuwsen (Bass), Harry Geraerts (Tenor)
Conductor:  Frans Brüggen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Bavo Cathedral Boys Choir,  Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/1977 
Venue:  Lutherse Church, Haarlem, Holland 
Length: 18 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Language: German 
7. Ich habe genug, BWV 82 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Max van Egmond (Baritone)
Conductor:  Frans Brüggen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1727; Cöthen, Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/1977 
Venue:  Lutherse Church, Haarlem, Holland 
Length: 20 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Language: German 
8. Singet Dem Hern, BWV 225 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Frieder Bernius
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Chamber Choir,  Stuttgart Baroque Orchestra
Date of Recording: 1989 
Venue:  Evangelische Kirche, Grönningen, Germany 
9. Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf, BWV 226 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Frieder Bernius
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Chamber Choir,  Stuttgart Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1729; Leipzig, Germany 
10. Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Frieder Bernius
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Chamber Choir,  Stuttgart Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Leipzig, Germany 
11. Fürchte dich nicht, ich bin bei dir, BWV 228 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Frieder Bernius
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Chamber Choir,  Stuttgart Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726; Leipzig, Germany 
12. Komm, Jesu, komm!, BWV 229 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Frieder Bernius
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Chamber Choir,  Stuttgart Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1725-1749; Leipzig, Germany 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook