Notes and Editorial Reviews
"To ‘bring back the sacredness into the creative process’ is how the Theatre of Early Music describes its quest. These three intensely wrought cantatas could not provide a more fitting opportunity as they traverse the attentive rhetorical world of Bach’s early vocal music. Quite what ‘sacredness’ means for their director, countertenor Daniel Taylor, is hard to know but it would seem from his intimate reading of the antique-style sacred concerto Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, that lucid argument of textual detail and a telling undercurrent of instrumental ‘images’ play an important part in his vision.
This is a work whose contemplative pacing is enhanced by Bach’s seamless and arching plan of movements, delivered in quick succession, each with its disarmingly personal directness; ‘meine Seele harret’ (‘my soul is waiting’) from the second choral section is as close to pure devotion as you get in Bach...
In the other two cantatas, the crystal-clear recorded sound brings out some irresistible qualities in the performances, such as the deeply touching ‘Sinfonia’ to the little-known Tritt auf die Glaubensbahn, where the characterful obbligato recorder, oboe and violin chatter with the sureness of disciples truly treading the path of faith. Again, intimacy of sentiment is key to a successful rendering of these early pieces... the instrumental playing is first-rate and whatever ‘sacredness’ means to these musicians, thoughtfulness and conviction permeate these performances. I’m glad to know them. Cantata No 161 is particularly fine and conceptually the most effective version around."
Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, The GRAMOPHONE