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Bach: Cantatas Vol 1 / Suzuki, Bach Collegium Japan


Release Date: 12/12/1995 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 751   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Yumiko KurisuKoki KatanoPeter KooyAkira Tachikawa
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 45 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Those who lament the austere, dispassionate, "scholarly" approach that more often than not informs today's original-instrument performances of Bach cantatas will find much to rejoice in Masaaki Suzuki's grand and heartfelt, if not overly devotional conceptions. For instance, as you listen to the opening Sinfonia of Christ lag in Todesbanden you're immediately struck by the emotive delicacy of the string playing and how perfectly it introduces the subject's necessary resolve and sadness. Moments later when the chorus enters and the momentum shifts, the urgency of the ensemble likewise changes to deftly communicate just the right measure of boldness and hope. Throughout the piece Suzuki's
Read more uncanny ability to extract every nuance from Bach's sublime score recalls the efforts of Karl Richter, Günther Ramin, Fritz Werner, Karl Ristenpart, and Helmut Winschermann--bygone patricians of this repertoire who were equally considerate of the music's every emotion, from deepest angst to overwhelming joy. Though BWV 4 is one of Bach's most famous and oft-recorded cantatas, Suzuki's rendering of it ranks with the very best.

The two other cantatas offered--Nacht dir, Herr, verlanget mich BWV 150 and Der Herr denket an uns BWV 196--also receive outstanding performances. In BWV 150, soprano Yumiko Kurisu's seamless and spirited rendering of the aria "Doch bin und bleibe ich vergnügt" is a marvel, as is the fifth-movement trio "Zedern müssen von den Winden", expertly performed by countertenor Akira Tachikawa, tenor Koki Katano, and veteran Dutch bass Peter Kooy. Also noteworthy is Suzuki's brilliant negotiation of the complex rhythms of the chorale "Meine Augen sehen stets zu dem herren", imparting a rarely heard uplifting quality to the setting. BWV 196 is highlighted by the final chorale "Ihr seid die Gesegneten", where Suzuki's sensibly dignified conclusion impresses more favorably than the overly exuberant let's-get-it-over-with treatment Konrad Junghänel and the Cantus Cölln offer in their fairly recent Harmonia Mundi recording (type Q1384 in Search Reviews).

BIS's sound is of audiophile quality, with an expansive yet detailed sound stage that spectacularly complements Suzuki's grand realization. As Volume 1 in a complete traversal of Bach's sacred and secular cantatas, this auspicious entry offers the promise of an extraordinary and very important cycle that shouldn't be missed by anyone who loves these works. This is the kind of Bach rarely heard anymore--performances that make you want to devote time to them, to listen at lifelike levels and follow the text religiously.
-- ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Christ lag in Todesbanden, BWV 4 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Yumiko Kurisu (Soprano), Koki Katano (Tenor), Peter Kooy (Bass),
Akira Tachikawa (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708; Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  Kobe Shoin Women's University, Japan 
Length: 18 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: Kobe Shoin Women's University, Japan (06/1995 - 07/1995) 
2.
Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, BWV 150 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Yumiko Kurisu (Soprano), Koki Katano (Tenor), Peter Kooy (Bass),
Akira Tachikawa (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1708-1709; Cöthen, Germany 
Venue:  Kobe Shoin Women's University, Japan 
Length: 14 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: Kobe Shoin Women's University, Japan (06/1995 - 07/1995) 
3.
Der Herr denket an uns, BWV 196 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter Kooy (Bass), Yumiko Kurisu (Soprano), Koki Katano (Tenor)
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: ?1708; Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  Kobe Shoin Women's University, Japan 
Length: 11 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: Kobe Shoin Women's University, Japan (06/1995 - 07/1995) 

Sound Samples

Christ lag in Todes Banden, BWV 4: Sinfonia
Christ lag in Todes Banden, BWV 4: Christ lag in Todesbanden (Chorus)
Christ lag in Todes Banden, BWV 4: Duet: Den Tod niemand zwingen kunnt (Soprano, Alto)
Christ lag in Todes Banden, BWV 4: Aria: Jesu Christus, Gottes Sohn (Tenor)
Christ lag in Todes Banden, BWV 4: Es war ein wunderlicher Krieg (Chorus)
Christ lag in Todes Banden, BWV 4: Aria: Hier ist das rechte Osterlamm (Bass)
Christ lag in Todes Banden, BWV 4: Duet: So feiern wir das hohe Fest (Soprano, Tenor)
Christ lag in Todes Banden, BWV 4: Chorale: Wir essen und leben wohl
Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, BWV 150: Sinfonia
Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, BWV 150: Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich (Chorus)
Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, BWV 150: Aria: Doch bin und bleibe ich vergnugt (Soprano)
Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, BWV 150: Leite mich in deiner Wahrheit (Chorus)
Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, BWV 150: Aria (Terzet): Zedern mussen von den Winden (Alto, Tenor, Bass)
Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, BWV 150: Meine Augen sehen stets zu dem Herrn (Chorus)
Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, BWV 150: Ciacona: Meine Tage in dem Leide (Chorus)
Der Herr denket an uns, BWV 196: Sinfonia
Der Herr denket an uns, BWV 196: Der Herr denket an uns (Chorus)
Der Herr denket an uns, BWV 196: Aria: Er segnet, die den Herrn furchten (Soprano)
Der Herr denket an uns, BWV 196: Duet: Der Herr segne euch (Tenor, Bass)
Der Herr denket an uns, BWV 196: Ihr seid die Gesegneten des Herrn (Chorus)

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