- Cantata No. 204, "Ich bin in mir vergnügt," BWV 204 (BC G45)
- Cantata No. 30a, "Angenehmes Wiederau, freue dich in deinen Auen," BWV 30a (BC G31)
The release of this album on Sweden's BIS label is something of a momentous event, perhaps worthy of private observances by its buyers: it is the very final volume in the cycle of Bach cantatas by Japan's Masaaki Suzuki and his Japan Bach Collegium. For individual inspiration, Suzuki's series has been exceeded, but certainly not for consistency, and nobody flags in this final chapter. Suzuki neither mops up dregs nor saves some revelation for the very end, but he comes closer to the latter: the "Cantata No. 204, Ich bin in mir vergnügt, BWV 204" is a fascinating work that has much in common with Bach's more serene, sacred cantatas but only glancingly mentions God. Sample "Meine Seele sei vergnügt" for a taste of the mood of the whole and also for the prime attraction here, British soprano Carolyn Sampson, in top form in a work that plays to her strengths. The other work on the album, "Angenehmes Wiederau, BWV 30a," comes as close as anything Bach ever wrote to being slight; it is essentially a housewarming present, with a text by Bach's frequent collaborator Picander. The music nevertheless is attractive, with fine contributions from veteran Japanese tenor Makoto Sakurada. It seems unthinkable that there won't be another Masaaki Suzuki Bach album in the pipeline, but he can perhaps reflect the depiction of satisfaction in Sampson's performance, a fitting note for the series' conclusion.