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Bach: Cantatas 170, 82, 159 / Marriner, Baker, Shirley-Quirk


Release Date: 04/05/1991 
Label:  London/Decca Serenata Series Catalog #: 430260   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Dame Janet BakerJohn Shirley-QuirkRobert Tear
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 9 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

A warm welcome to this reissue which has a cleaner sound than the original L'OiseauLyre. Dame Janet is on what sounds to be her best form, with almost impeccable intonation and a warmth which gives the performances an intense glow. Vergnügte Ruh' begins with a haunting melody of such expressive dimensions that, for me, the remainder of the cantata is something of an emotional unwinding. On numerous other levels, however, the succeeding movements are satisfying and well contrasted with one another. Against the tender 12/8 opening aria Bach sets another, strikingly different one, whose key (F sharp minor), chromaticism, almost unbridled demi-semi-quaver passages and lack of basso continuo all serve to emphasize the lament of a lost soul. Read more The last aria, one of rejoicing, is unusual with its concertante organ; such is the writing here that Bach must have had a fairly small ensemble in mind.

Bach's Quinquagesima Cantata, "Come, let us go up to Jerusalem" is a sustained essay in suffering. Alfred Darr has commented on the specially high artistic skill which Bach lavished on the music for that Sunday in the church year; this work dating from 1729, is the last of them and, perhaps, the most poignant of all. The text is concerned with the prophesies of Christ's suffering and death and contains passages of direct speech for Jesus and the Soul, who are presented both in solo and in dialogue. Text and music are not far removed from the spirit of Bach's two great Passion settings and, small scale though it is, this cantata is worthy of standing alongside them. The soloists give strong performances and the grief-laden climax "Es ist vollbracht" for bass and solo oboe is effective. A jarring note was struck by the fussy harpsichord continuo here and there and the instrumental playing, especially in the lower strings, was too heavy for my taste; but there is still a great deal to enjoy in these interpretations even though they are stylistically a little old fashioned.

-- Gramophone [5/1984, reviewing BWV 159 and 170]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust, BWV 170 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726; Leipzig, Germany 
2.
Ich habe genug, BWV 82 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  John Shirley-Quirk (Baritone)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1727; Cöthen, Germany 
Language: German 
3.
Sehet, wir gehn hinauf gen Jerusalem, BWV 159 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Robert Tear (Tenor), John Shirley-Quirk (Bass Baritone)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1729; Leipzig, Germany 

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