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Bach: Secular Cantatas vol II / Masaaki 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.

3630380.az_BACH_Secular_Cantatas_Vol.html
BACH Secular Cantatas, Vol. 2: Cantatas No. 208; 1 No. 134a 2 & Masaaki Suzuki, cond; 1 Sophie Junker, 1 Joanne Lunn (sop); Read more class="SUPER12">2 Damien Guillon (ct); 1,2 Makoto Sakurada (ten); 1 Roderick Williams (bs); Bach Collegium Japan (period instruments) BIS SACD-1971 (SACD: 74: 40 Text and Translation)


& Sinfonia in F , BWV 1046a/1

It’s been suggested that if Bach had been born 300 years later he now would be writing advertizing jingles. That’s where the money is, they say, and we all know that Bach was always looking for ways to supplement the income from his day job. I’m not so sure. For one thing, if he had been born in 1985 he wouldn’t have had 20 children and needed those extra bucks to support his family. On the other hand, all the kids he did have—girls as well as boys—would be going to college.… Bach could write a catchy tune all right, but he was more interested in what could be done with a tune than the tune itself. Besides, much of his best work involved other people’s tunes—think of the chorale settings. And he wasn’t hip. Of course, now he is, but it took the world a couple of centuries to come to that realization. Advertisers normally don’t have that kind of perspective. I suspect that Bach today could be an awesome programmer. And if he wanted to bring in a little on the side he could be a publicist!


In his spare time, such as it was, Bach wrote countless puff pieces—we don’t know how many because most are presumed lost—designed to flatter the people who mattered: persons of rank, employers, retiring scholars (the celebrities of the day—we can only wish!), and the like. The secular cantatas are surviving examples. Given Bach’s often prickly relationships with his employers, we can only guess that he had to suppress his gag reflex when he set these obsequious panegyrics. But he approached these tasks with the same diligence that he applied to his official duties, and we now know that many of them reappeared, somewhat modified, in the church cantatas.


One such example is BWV 134a, composed in 1719 for Prince Leopold in Cöthen, which resurfaced as Cantata 134 in Leipzig on Easter Tuesday, 1724. The original was cast as a dialog between Time (the past) and Divine Providence (the future). Maestro Suzuki, abetted by the solid contributions of Makoto Sakurada as Time and Damien Guillon as Providence, captures the optimistic spirit of the affair, which quite possibly reflects Bach’s positive relationship with Leopold at the time.


The “Hunting” Cantata, BWV 208, is Bach’s earliest extant secular cantata, written in 1713 for Duke Christian of Sachsen-Weißenfels to celebrate the Duke’s abiding interest in putting game animals out of their presumed misery. The Duke and the hunt are treated to encomiums from Diana, goddess of the hunt, Endymion, her lover, and Pan and Pales, gods of shepherds and flocks, in one of the longer cantatas (15 movements). Bach apparently liked the cantata enough to perform it on different occasions and to parody some of its movements in other cantatas. It’s best known, however, for one he didn’t reuse, Pales’s aria, “Schafe können sicher weiden” (Sheep may safely graze). Suzuki’s performance is characteristically direct and unmannered. The soloists—Sophie Junker as Diana, Joanne Lunn as Pales, Sakurada as Endymion, and Roderick Williams as Pan—are well suited for their roles. I was not entirely convinced by Lunn’s embellishments in the reprise of her great aria, and the horns that introduced Diana and accompanied the final chorus were a tad unruly, but my overall response was positive.


Since the Hunt Cantata opens with a recitative, Suzuki has chosen to introduce it with the first movement of Bach’s first version of the First Brandenburg Concerto —the one with horns. This is Suzuki’s second foray into the secular cantatas—he had previously recorded the Coffee and Peasant Cantatas—and it promises more good things to come.

FANFARE: George Chien
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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 

Sound Samples

Sinfonia in F major, BWV 1046a: I. -
Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!, BWV 208, "Hunt Cantata": Recitative: Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd! (Soprano 1)
Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!, BWV 208, "Hunt Cantata": Aria: Jagen ist die Lust der Gotter (Soprano 1)
Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!, BWV 208, "Hunt Cantata": Recitative: Wie? Schonste Gottin! Wie? (Tenor)
Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!, BWV 208, "Hunt Cantata": Aria: Willst du dich nicht mehr ergotzen (Tenor)
Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!, BWV 208, "Hunt Cantata": Recitative: Ich liebe dich zwar noch! (Soprano 1, Tenor)
Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!, BWV 208, "Hunt Cantata": Recitative: Ich, der ich sonst ein Gott in diesen Feldern bin (Bass)
Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!, BWV 208, "Hunt Cantata": Aria: Ein Furst ist seines Landes Pan! (Bass)
Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!, BWV 208, "Hunt Cantata": Recitative: Soll denn der Pales Opfer hier das letzte sein? (Soprano 2)
Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!, BWV 208, "Hunt Cantata": Aria: Schafe konnen sicher weiden (Soprano 2)
Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!, BWV 208, "Hunt Cantata": Recitative: So stimmt mit ein (Soprano 1)
Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!, BWV 208, "Hunt Cantata": Lebe, Sonne dieser Erden (Chorus)
Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!, BWV 208, "Hunt Cantata": Duet: Entzucket uns beide (Soprano 1, Tenor)
Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!, BWV 208, "Hunt Cantata": Aria: Weil die wollenreichen Herden (Soprano 2)
Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!, BWV 208, "Hunt Cantata": Aria: Ihr Felder und Auen, lasst grunend euch schauen (Bass)
Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!, BWV 208, "Hunt Cantata": Ihr lieblichste Blicke! Ihr freudige Stunden! (Chorus)
Die Zeit, die Tag und Jahre macht, BWV 134a: Recitative: Die Zeit, die Tag und Jahre macht (Alto, Tenor)
Die Zeit, die Tag und Jahre macht, BWV 134a: Aria: Auf, Sterbliche, lasset ein Jauchzen ertonen (Tenor)
Die Zeit, die Tag und Jahre macht, BWV 134a: Recitative: So bald, als dir die Sternen hold (Alto, Tenor)
Die Zeit, die Tag und Jahre macht, BWV 134a: Aria: Es streiten, es siegen die kunftigen Zeiten (Alto, Tenor)
Die Zeit, die Tag und Jahre macht, BWV 134a: Recitative: Bedenke nur, beglucktes Land (Alto, Tenor)
Die Zeit, die Tag und Jahre macht, BWV 134a: Aria: Der Zeiten Herr hat viel vergnugte Stunden (Alto)
Die Zeit, die Tag und Jahre macht, BWV 134a: Recitative: Hilf, Hochster, hilf, dass mich die Menschen preisen (Alto, Tenor)
Die Zeit, die Tag und Jahre macht, BWV 134a: Ergetzet auf Erden, erfreuet von oben (Chorus)

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