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Bach: Cantatas Bwv 12, 78, 150, Etc / Lasserre, Winter, Guillon, Beekman, Et Al


Release Date: 07/14/2009 
Label:  Zig Zag   Catalog #: 90502   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Damien GuillonMarcel BeekmanVeronika WinterBenoît Arnould
Conductor:  Françoise Lasserre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Akademia Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

BACH Cantatas: No. 12; No. 78; No. 150. Motet, BWV 118 Françoise Lasserre, cond; Veronika Winter (sop); Damien Guillon (ct); Marcel Beekman (ten); Benoît Arnould (bar); Akadêmia ZIG-ZAG 10984 (64:35 Text and Translation)



In the notes, conductor Françoise Lasserre addresses a perplexing problem: “It’s a real headache to devise a programme of Bach cantatas, because so many of them are masterpieces.” One might choose cantatas Read more that are based on a single chorale melody, or ones with related liturgical functions, or those with similar orchestrations. For this disc, Lasserre has taken a novel and intriguing approach, choosing four cantatas (including BWV 118) that employ the chaconne (or passacaglia) form. After the violin chaconne and the organ passacaglia, Bach’s most famous use of the form is undoubtedly the Crucifixus of the B-Minor Mass, which was derived from the choral introduction (following the Sinfonia) of BWV 12. Cantata 78 uses the same descending bass figure in its opening chorus, but to a greatly different effect. The structure of the first chorus of Cantata 150, an early work whose authenticity has been questioned, is less clear. There is a recurring, rising bass figure characteristic of the chaconne, but frequent interruptions also suggest the ritornello principle. BWV 118 was constructed over an ostinato bass as well. Bach himself labeled it a motet, despite its instrumental introduction and the use of independent lines in the instrumental accompaniments. Originally scored for wind ensemble, it is presented here in its later version for winds and strings.


Lasserre also addresses a second issue, that of ensemble size. She is in sympathy with the one-to-a-part esthetic, but she has followed a pragmatic approach, singing the early works with soloists, but expanding the chorus to 12 voices, with the soloists participating in the chorus, as they would have in Bach’s day, for the Leipzig cantata, BWV 78. In either case, she uses multiple strings in the instrumental ensemble. This strikes me as an eminently sensible solution, and the performances bear that out.


The performances themselves are splendid, well sung and played, and thoughtfully shaped to emphasize the messages of the various texts. Lassarre’s offering is a fascinating and successful exploration of a tiny fraction of the Bach cantata legacy, and one that I can enthusiastically recommend.


FANFARE: George Chien
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Works on This Recording

1.
Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen, BWV 12 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Damien Guillon (Countertenor), Marcel Beekman (Tenor), Veronika Winter (Soprano),
Benoît Arnould (Baritone)
Conductor:  Françoise Lasserre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Akademia Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1714; Weimar, Germany 
Length: 21 Minutes 32 Secs. 
2.
Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, BWV 150 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Damien Guillon (Countertenor), Marcel Beekman (Tenor), Veronika Winter (Soprano),
Benoît Arnould (Baritone)
Conductor:  Françoise Lasserre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Akademia Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1708-1709; Cöthen, Germany 
Length: 13 Minutes 23 Secs. 
3.
O Jesu Christ, mein Lebens Licht, BWV 118 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Damien Guillon (Countertenor), Marcel Beekman (Tenor), Veronika Winter (Soprano),
Benoît Arnould (Baritone)
Conductor:  Françoise Lasserre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Akademia Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 49 Secs. 
4.
Jesu, der du meine Seele, BWV 78 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Damien Guillon (Countertenor), Marcel Beekman (Tenor), Veronika Winter (Soprano),
Benoît Arnould (Baritone)
Conductor:  Françoise Lasserre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Akademia Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724; Leipzig, Germany 

Featured Sound Samples

Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen, BWV 12: II. Chorus: "Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen"

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