Bach: Whitsun Cantatas

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Kasunic
This installment of John Eliot Gardiner's recorded survey of J. S. Bach's church cantatas once again unites insightful programming and uniformly polished performances for a sturdy success. Bringing together the cantatas composed for a particular feast day provides a fascinating glimpse at Bach's varied musical responses to the same or very similar texts. The cantatas recorded here celebrate the feast of the Pentecost "Whit Sunday" or "Whitsun", when, in Christian belief, the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles, ushering in the church's mission in the world. Consequently, the texts are exultant, and Bach sets them with music that is variously jubilant, hortatory, and ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Kasunic
This installment of John Eliot Gardiner's recorded survey of J. S. Bach's church cantatas once again unites insightful programming and uniformly polished performances for a sturdy success. Bringing together the cantatas composed for a particular feast day provides a fascinating glimpse at Bach's varied musical responses to the same or very similar texts. The cantatas recorded here celebrate the feast of the Pentecost "Whit Sunday" or "Whitsun", when, in Christian belief, the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles, ushering in the church's mission in the world. Consequently, the texts are exultant, and Bach sets them with music that is variously jubilant, hortatory, and serene. Most delightful is hearing how Bach borrowed, reworked, and expanded on music from the 1723 cantata, "Wer mich liebet, der wird mein Wort halten," for the 1725 cantata of the same name. These two cantatas likewise boast the solo work of the up-and-coming Czech mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kozená, whose combination of a warm and exceptionally appealing sound with scrupulous musicianship augurs a very bright future. Across the board, Gardiner's choice of soloists is astute, especially when, as in the case of Kozená, they run counter to the knee-jerk, parochial tendency to use vibrato-less singers who often only end up blanching Bach's music. For while Robin Blaze's pure countertenor voice sounds lovely on "Nichts kann mich erretten," the sumptuous contralto of Bernarda Fink, graced with a gentle vibrato, makes the devout joy of "Wohl euch, ihr auserwählten Seelen" the highlight of the disc. Gardiner's Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists sing and play with the blend and vigor we have happily come to expect from them.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/18/2000
  • Label: Archiv Produktion
  • UPC: 028946358429
  • Catalog Number: 463584
  • Sales rank: 74,145

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–6 Cantata No. 172, "Erschallet, ihr Lieder," BWV 172 - Johann Sebastian Bach & Monteverdi Choir (17:37)
  2. 7–11 Cantata No. 59, "Wer mich liebet, der wird mein Wort halten," BWV 59 - Johann Sebastian Bach & Monteverdi Choir (11:44)
  3. 12–19 Cantata No. 74, "Wer mich liebet, der wird mein Wort halten," BWV 74 (BC A83) - Johann Sebastian Bach & Monteverdi Choir (20:12)
  4. 20–24 Cantata No. 34, "O ewiges Feuer, o Ursprung der Liebe," BWV 34 - Johann Sebastian Bach & Monteverdi Choir (16:55)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
John Eliot Gardiner Primary Artist
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