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Bach: Secular Cantatas Vol II / Suzuki, Bach Collegium Japan

Bach / Bach Collegium Japan / Suzuki
Release Date: 07/24/2012 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 1971  
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Roderick WilliamsMakoto SakuradaJoanne LunnSophie Junker,   ... 
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 1 Hours 15 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.

Compared with J.S. Bach’s production of church music his secular vocal works occupy a modest place in his output: today we know of the existence of some fifty secular cantatas, but only about half of these have survived in performable condition. They were occasional pieces, tailored especially to the situation that engendered them. Unlike the church cantatas they could therefore not be performed again in unaltered form, and were thus of little practical interest for Bach’s heirs. The earliest surviving secular cantata is the ‘Hunt’ Cantata, composed in 1713 in Weimar for the birthday of Duke Christian of Sachsen-Weißenfels. The Duke was
Read more a passionate huntsman and Bach’s work was performed during a birthday banquet held at the Prince’s hunting lodge. The libretto includes a modest dramatic plot in which four divinities from ancient mythology appear, and to which Bach’s music adds variety and colour through the use, in various movements, of two hunting horns, a trio of oboes and a pair of recorders. Bach must have valued the work highly: he adjusted it at least twice for performances in honour of other people, and also used ‘parody’ versions of various movements in sacred cantatas. Intended for the 1719 New Year’s celebrations in Köthen, Die Zeit, die Tag und Jahre macht would also be recycled by Bach, who five years later transformed it into a cantata for Easter Sunday. Of a more philosophical cast than its companion piece, the cantata is set as a dialogue between Time (tenor) and Divine Providence (alto), who in the final movement are joined by a chorus wishing ‘glückseligen Zeiten’ (‘joyous times’) to the princely house of Anhalt-Köthen. Bach Collegium Japan and Masaaki Suzuki have previously recorded one disc of secular cantatas (BIS-CD-1411), with the Coffee Cantata and the wedding cantata O Holder Tag, Erwünschte Zeit. With this second volume, the team now picks up the thread of this series which runs parallel to the traversal of the church cantatas.

Review:

Brilliantly caught, from the casting of the four characters to the exceptional continuo work, led by Suzuki himself. Makoto Sakurada (as Endymion) conveys the ensnaring potential of love with friendly caution, while Pan (the ever-communicative Roderick Williams) delivers the first feel-good excursion in celebrating our Prince as Pan of his country.

– Gramophone Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!, BWV 208 "Hunt Cantata" by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Roderick Williams (Baritone), Makoto Sakurada (Tenor), Joanne Lunn (Soprano),
Sophie Junker (Soprano)
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1713; Cöthen, Germany 
2.
Die Zeit, die Tag und Jahre macht, BWV 134a by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Damien Guillon (Countertenor), Makoto Sakurada (Tenor)
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1719; Cöthen, Germany 
3.
Sinfonia in F major, BWV 1046a by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1713; ?Weimar, Germany 

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