This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.
Notes and Editorial Reviews
Although frequently classified as an oratorio, C. P. E. Bach's Auferstehung und Himmeelfahrt Jesu is really a cantata. There are no named dramatis personae and it is evident from Emanuel Bach's own comments that he intended the work to have a partly didactic function. He also considered it, in his own words as "pre-eminent among all my vocal works in expression and in the composition". The author of the text was Karl Wilhelm Ramler, an important poet of the German Enlightenment whose texts had earlier attracted Telemann. Ramler and Bach engaged in a close collaboration over the Auferstehung and between Bach's setting of it in 1774 and the eventual publication by Breitkopf in 1787, composer and poet entered into a lively
correspondence concerning the details and shape of the cantata. The first performance took place in Hamburg in 1778 when it was warmly received. Many subsequent performances were given culminating in three directed by Mozart in Vienna.
This is the third commercial recording of the Auferstehung. The earliest of them, directed by Wilfried Fischer, was made during the 1970s by the German company Corona and issued in France on the Harmonia Mundi label (HM481/2). More recently a livelier performance under Hermann Max was included in Capriccio's valuable C. P. E. Bach Edition. Now comes a version with the Choir of the Collegium Vocale, Ghent and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under the direction of Philippe Herreweghe. Choosing between this and the Capriccio interpretation has proved difficult. Both have a fine trio of soloists of whom the tenor Christoph Prégardien is common to both; the others are the sopranos Barbara Schlick (Capriccio) and Hillevi Martinpelto, and the basses Stephen Varcoe (Capriccio) and Peter Harvey. Prégardien is perhaps a shade more fluent in the Virgin recording yet I would not be without Schlick in the other; Harvey and Varcoe are both first-rate. The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment certainly has the edge on Das Kleine Konzert in warmth and refinement of sound—both are period instrument orchestras, by the way, and Herreweghe's Collegium Vocale is more assured than the Rheinische Kantorei. But even so the latter often conveys a greater air of spontaneity and the smaller, fresher sounding voices have considerable appeal. In short, we have a difficult decision to make. For some readers perhaps, the deciding factor will be that Virgin has managed to accommodate the whole work on to a single disc; yet the Capriccio double album with two wellfilled discs offers in addition Emanuel Bach's beautiful and seldom performed Easter Cantata (Wq244). If I had to choose one or other of the performances then it would be the Virgin disc, by a hair's breadth; the Capriccio set is not without minor blemishes and in the final chorus the horns make an astonishing error of judgement, exuberant but, alas, wrong. The Virgin recorded sound is spacious and pleasing and the booklet includes Ramler's German text with English and French translations.
-- Gramophone [9/1992]
Works on This Recording
Auferstehung und Himmelfahrt Jesu, Wq 240/H 777 by Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach
Hillevi Martinpelto (Soprano),
Christoph Prégardien (Tenor),
Peter Harvey (Bass)
Ghent Collegium Vocale,
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Written: 1774/1778; Hamburg, Germany
Date of Recording: 02/1991
Venue: Salle Wagram, Paris
Length: 75 Minutes 45 Secs.
Be the first to review this title