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Bach: Cantatas through the Liturgical Year, Vol. 1 - Kuijken

Bach: Cantatas through the Liturgical Year, Vol. 1 - Kuijken

Accent  ACC 25301

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Vocal


Bach: "Ich armer Mensch, ich Sündenknecht" BWV 55, "Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen" BWV 56, "Was Gott tut, das ist wohl getan" BWV 98, "Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele" BWV 180

Sophie Karthäuser (soprano)
Petra Noskaiova (alto)
Christoph Genz (tenor)
Dominik Wörner (bass-baritone)
La Petite Bande
Sigiswald Kuijken

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Review by John Broggio - June 16, 2006

This is the first volume of a projected 20 disc set of Cantatas for the complete Liturgical Year which will be released in steady succession until 2011. In common with Bach: Cantatas through the Liturgical Year, Vol. 2 - Kuijken, there is a very useful "General Introduction - getting the best from listening to the Bach Cantatas" where the compositional style, word-setting, size of vocal & instrumental forces are all persuasively outlined by Sigiswald Kuijken. He has opted for a small orchestra (7 string players, 4 wind players and an organist) and, even more daringly than Junghänel in Bach: Mass in B minor - Konrad Junghänel, only uses four singers.

Accompanying the "General Introduction", there is a second booklet (in the right-hand flap of the fold-out holder) which discusses the individual cantatas in the same way but specifically relating to the music included on the disc. The cantatas on this disc are those for the 19th to 22nd Sundays after Trinity:
Was Gott tut, das ist wohl getan - BWV 98
Schmucke dich, o liebe Seele - BWV 180
Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen - BWV 56
Ich armer Mensch, ich Sündenknecht - BWV 55

The performances of all cantatas on this disc are all superb. The tone of the instruments is soft & light and means that none of the singers is in any way strained, so their tone is consistently beautiful without needing to resort to a cloying vibrato that used to be all too prevalent. The pacing keeps all the music alive without robbing more spiritual moments of appropriate repose.

The recording is also good, with the acoustic of the Church of the Minimes (Brussels) providing a pleasing amount of reverberation - the MCH layer places the listener ideally so that there is no feeling of being swamped in waves of sound that can sometimes occur in ecclesiastical buildings.

Thoroughly recommended and I can't (but will sadly have to) wait for future installments of what promises to be a very exciting series.

Copyright © 2006 John Broggio and HRAudio.net

Performance:

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