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Bach - Violin And Voice / Hilary Hahn


Release Date: 01/12/2010 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 001383202  
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Matthias GoerneHilary HahnChristine SchäferHenrik Wiese
Conductor:  Alexander Liebreich
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

In her booklet notes Hilary Hahn explains how she has over the years played many of these Bach arias for voice and violin. With the present disc her promise to herself to collate these and other scores into a single collection has come to fruition. All but one of the twelve arias are taken from sacred scores. Only the aria from the Latin Mass in B minor is not sung to a German text. Hahn playing a violin by eminent French luthier Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume is joined by soprano Christine Schäfer and baritone Matthias Goerne; both noted Bach interpreters. One can only imagine the amount of meticulous preparation that has gone into this splendid and fascinating project.

I enjoyed the opening track on the disc the bass aria
Read more Gebt mir meinen Jesum wieder! from the St. Matthew Passion. Goerne is an authoritative performer with an agreeable and rich timbre. I was struck by his innate ability consistently to communicate a deep reverence for the text. His aria Hier in meines Vaters Stätte (Here, within my Father’s mansion) is an admirable example of his ability to convey his vocal line with strong and assured expression.

The final track is the aria, Erbarme dich (Have mercy, Lord on Me) from the St. Matthew Passion here in the version transposed for soprano by Mendelssohn. Schäfer’s direct yet controlled approach demonstrates a fluid delivery. This is fine singing although I did at times feel her greyish timbre would have benefited from a touch more vocal colour. Hahn’s poised playing is quite exceptional. In Erbarme dich I admire the wonderful 1952 Kingsway Hall interpretation by mezzo Kathleen Ferrier with the National Symphony Orchestra under Malcolm Sargent. Sung in English with the title Have mercy, Lord on Me this is one of Ferrier’s most moving performances. It’s on the double CD set ‘Kathleen Ferrier - A Tribute’ (Decca 475 078-2).

Another highpoint is the duet for soprano and bass Wenn kömmst du, mein Heil? (When will you come, my Salvation?) from Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme. This is glorious singing contrasting Schäfer’s angelic soprano against Goerne’s sturdy oaken timbre.

Hahn has a significant part in each of the twelve arias. Her playing evinces an unwavering grace and her pristine control is remarkable. Clearly conscious of the sacred intention of the majority of the settings Hahn never allows any inappropriate sentimentality to intrude.

In the bass aria Ja ja, ich halte Jesum feste (Yes, yes, I have a firm hold on Jesus) from the Cantata Ich lasse dich nicht flautist Henrik Wiese deserves praise for his splendid playing. Throughout, the theorbo, cello and harpsichord/organ make for a rich and varied basso continuo.

The sound quality from the Münich Himmelfahrtskirche is vividly clear with a balance that tends to favour the bass instruments. I found the booklet notes well detailed and contain an interesting note from Hahn and an informative essay on the scores. On this extremely well presented disc full texts with English and French translations are provided. Hahn can certainly take great credit in what she describes as her dream project.

-- Michael Cookson, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244: no 51, Gebt mir meinen Jesum wieder! by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Matthias Goerne (Baritone), Hilary Hahn (Violin)
Conductor:  Alexander Liebreich
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: ?1727; Leipzig, Germany 
2.
Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 140: no 3, Wenn kommst du, mein Heil? by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Matthias Goerne (Baritone), Hilary Hahn (Violin), Christine Schäfer (Soprano)
Conductor:  Alexander Liebreich
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1731; Leipzig, Germany 
3.
Ich bin in mir vergnügt, BWV 204: no 4, Die Schätzbarkeit der weiten Erden by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Christine Schäfer (Soprano), Hilary Hahn (Violin)
Conductor:  Alexander Liebreich
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726-1727; Leipzig, Germany 
4.
Liebster Jesu, mein Verlangen, BWV 32: no 3, Hier, in meines Vaters Stätte by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Matthias Goerne (Baritone), Hilary Hahn (Violin)
Conductor:  Alexander Liebreich
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726; Leipzig, Germany 
5.
Der zufriedengestellte Äolus, BWV 205: no 9, Angenehmer Zephyrus by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Christine Schäfer (Soprano), Hilary Hahn (Violin)
Conductor:  Alexander Liebreich
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Leipzig, Germany 
6.
Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Laudamus te by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Christine Schäfer (Soprano), Hilary Hahn (Violin)
Conductor:  Alexander Liebreich
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1747-1749; Leipzig, Germany 
7.
Ich lasse dich nicht, du segnest mich denn, BWV 157: Ja, ja, ich halte Jesum feste by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Matthias Goerne (Baritone), Hilary Hahn (Violin), Henrik Wiese (Flute)
Conductor:  Alexander Liebreich
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: ?1728; Leipzig, Germany 
8.
Wer mich liebet, der wird mein Wort halten, BWV 59: Die welt mit allen Königreichen by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Matthias Goerne (Baritone), Hilary Hahn (Violin)
Conductor:  Alexander Liebreich
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1723-1724; Leipzig, Germany 
9.
Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid, BWV 58: Ich bin vergnügt in meinem Leiden by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Christine Schäfer (Soprano), Hilary Hahn (Violin)
Conductor:  Alexander Liebreich
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1727; Leipzig, Germany 
10.
Sei Lob und Ehr dem höchsten Gut, BWV 117: no 6, Wenn Trost und Hülf ermangeln muss by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Matthias Goerne (Baritone), Hilary Hahn (Violin)
Conductor:  Alexander Liebreich
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724; Leipzig, Germany 
11.
Der Friede sei mit dir, BWV 158: no 2, Welt, ade! ich bin dein müde by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Matthias Goerne (Baritone), Hilary Hahn (Violin), Christine Schäfer (Soprano)
Conductor:  Alexander Liebreich
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: after 1723; Leipzig, Germany 
12.
Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244: no 47, Erbarme dich by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Christine Schäfer (Soprano), Hilary Hahn (Violin)
Conductor:  Alexander Liebreich
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: ?1727; Leipzig, Germany 

Sound Samples

St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244 / Part Two: No.51 Aria (Bass): "Gebt mir meinen Jesum wieder"
Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme Cantata, BWV 140: Arie (Duett): "Wann kommst du, mein Heil?"
Cantata, BWV 204 "Ich bin vergnügt": Aria "Die Schätzbarkeit der weiten Erde"
Liebster Jesu, mein Verlangen Cantata, BWV 32: 3. Aria: Hier, in meines Vaters Stätte
Zerreißet, zersprenget, zertrümmert die Gruft Dramma per musica, BWV 205: 9. Aria Soprano: "Angenehmer Zephyrus"
Mass in B minor, BWV 232 / Gloria: Laudamus te
Ich lasse dich nicht, du segnest mich denn (Cantata BWV 157): Ja, ja ich halte meinen Jesum fest
Cantata "Wer mich liebet, der wird mein Wort halten" BWV 59: 4. Aria: "Die Welt mit allen Königreichen"
Cantata, BWV 58 "Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid": Aria "Ich bin vergnügt in meinem Leiden" (Soprano)
Cantata, BWV117: 6. Wenn Trost und Hülf' ermangeln muß
Der Friede sei mit dir: Cantata, BWV 158: 2. Aria & Choral: Welt, ade, ich bin dein müde
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244 / Part Two: No.39 Aria (Alto): "Erbarme dich"

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