The Voice of Bach

The Voice of Bach

by Daniel Taylor


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The Voice of Bach

Hearing an album of Bach arias sung by a countertenor may not be essential for every listener. Many of the high arias from Bach's cantatas weren't the kind of operatic pieces that called for a muscular male voice comparable to those that have tackled Handel's arias in similar collections, and Bach, at least much of the time, wrote for female vocalists. If you enjoy countertenor singing, however, this release by Canadian singer Daniel Taylor may be the Bach album of choice. Taylor succeeds precisely because he doesn't try to hit you over the head with acrobatics. His voice is rich, smooth, and lyrical, and it is deployed to maximum effect in music that seems to reflect the almost sensuous approach Bach took to the depiction of religious contentment. The duet "Wir eilen mit schwachen, doch emsigen Schritten," from the "Cantata No. 78, Jesu der du meine Seele," in which Taylor is joined by soprano Agnes Zsigovics, is an addictive group of pearly arabesques. Taylor's most innovative move here is his departure from the usual lineup-of-arias program, with perhaps one or two instrumental selections included as entr'actes. Of the album's 11 pieces, no fewer than five are instrumental sinfonias or choral pieces, with Montreal's Theatre of Early Muisc and the Choir of the Theatre of Early Music taking an almost equal role with Taylor and serving, the way the program is ordered, to set a meditative mood that is intensified by his singing. The overall effect is lovely and increasingly hypnotic as you listen longer. This major-label release is something of a milestone for Canada's enthusiastic contingent of Baroque performers, who have accumulated technical skills but not always the nerve to break out of conventional ways of doing things. Taylor and his cohorts here are fresh and technically facile in equal measure. Beautifully recorded, and strongly recommended. Notes and texts are in German, French, and English.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/03/2009
Label: Rca
UPC: 0886972903125
catalogNumber: 729031


  1. Cantata No. 4, "Christ lag in Todes Banden," BWV 4 (BCA 54): Sinfonia in E minor

    1. Sinfonia in E minor  (01:24)
  2. St. Matthew Passion (Matthäuspassion), for soloists, double chorus, & double orchestra, BWV 244 (BC D3b): Aria: Erbarme dich, mein Gott

    1. Aria: Erbarme dich, mein Gott  (06:17)
  3. Cantata No. 78, "Jesu, der du meine Seele," BWV 78 (BC A130): Aria (Duet): Wir eilen mit schwachen, doch emsigen

    1. Aria (Duet): Wir eilen mit schwachen, doch emsigen Schritten  (05:07)
  4. O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht, motet for chorus, brass, continuo & winds ad lib ("Cantata No. 118"), BWV 118b (BC B23b)  (08:33)
  5. Cantata No. 12 "Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen", BWV 12 (BC A68): Sinfonia in F minor

    1. Sinfonia in F minor  (02:09)
  6. St. John Passion (Johannespassion), BWV 245 (BC D2): Aria: Es ist vollbracht!

    1. Aria: Es ist vollbracht!  (05:12)
  7. Cantata No. 23, "Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn," BWV 23 (BC A47): Aria (Duet): Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn

    1. Aria (Duet): Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn  (07:17)
  8. Vor deinen Thron tret ich hiermit (I), chorale prelude for organ (Achtzehn Choräle No. 18), BWV 668 (BC K91)  (04:14)
  9. Weihnachtsoratorium (Christmas Oratorio), in six parts, BWV 248 (BC D7): (Part 3) Aria: Schließe, mein Herze, dies selige W

    1. (Part 3) Aria: Schließe, mein Herze, dies selige Wunder  (05:09)
  10. Cantata No. 21, "Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis," BWV 21 (BC A99): Sinfonia in C minor

    1. Sinfonia in C minor  (02:33)
  11. Weihnachtsoratorium (Christmas Oratorio), in six parts, BWV 248 (BC D7): (Part 1) Aria: Bereite dich, Zion

    1. (Part 1) Aria: Bereite dich, Zion  (05:07)

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