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Thread: Favourite Cantata?

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    Senior Member Morigan's Avatar
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    Default Favourite Cantata?

    Since the "What's your favourite..." threads seem to be popular, I thought I'd ask about cantatas.

    I'm trying to get into Bach cantatas, notably, and I'd like to know your favourites (by any composer).

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    Senior Member opus67's Avatar
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    Never heard one, but I'd like a 'What is your Favourite "What is you Favourite..." Thread?'
    Regards,
    Navneeth

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    Assistant Administrator Chi_townPhilly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by opus67 View Post
    Never heard one, but I'd like a 'What is your Favourite "What is you Favourite..." Thread?'
    We now (rightly) return to our regularly scheduled topic:

    It's time for me to infest this thread with sacrilege. My favorite cantata is Carmina Burana (per its composer, Carl Orff, a "secular scenic cantata"). Nietzche supposedly averred that Tristan und Isolde helped him through adolescence. Well, there are a few of us out there for whom Carmina Burana played a similar role.
    The hardest knife ill us'd doth lose his edge. Shakespeare- Sonnet 95

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    I only know one - the Peasant's Cantata which I learn't when I was at school in the 60s

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morigan View Post
    Since the "What's your favourite..." threads seem to be popular, I thought I'd ask about cantatas.

    I'm trying to get into Bach cantatas, notably, and I'd like to know your favourites (by any composer).
    Hi Morigan,

    now at the moment I'm hearing a CD with Bach's Whitsun Cantatas. Great works! - especially BWV 172 "Erschallet ihr Lieder" and BWV 34 "O ewiges Feuer".
    There are so much very good cantatas composed by J.S. Bach, I don't know what to recommend...
    Perhaps you start with BWV 1 "Wie schoen leuchtet der Morgenstern" (very nice, too) and go on...
    What are my favourits??
    The early cantatas "Christ lag in Todesbanden" BWV 4 and "Aus der Tiefe rufe ich" BWV 131 are very impressive and show Bach's early maturity.
    Dead serious are "Ich habe genug" BWV 82, "Lass, Fuerstin" BWV 198 and "Actus tragicus" BWV 106, somehow Bach's Requiem.
    Very joyous are the cantatas for Advent and Christmas, like "Schwingt freudig" BWV 36 or "Christen, aetzet diesen Tag" 63.
    Also very good "O Ewigkeit" BWV 20, "Wachet auf" BWV 140, .... I better stop now...

    Perhaps I can give you more concrete help, if you can say me what you like to hear?

    Regards,
    AVH.

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    Senior Member Morigan's Avatar
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    Thank you Amade, that's the kind of advice I was looking for. I'm going to look for your suggestions first and then see how I feel after.

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    Hi, Morigan!

    Ah, I forgot "Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen" BWV 12, from where Bach took the "Cruzifixus"-melody for his b-minor-mass, and BWV 80 "Eine feste Burg ist unser Gott" for the reformation day and ... and ...
    You will see, there are a lot of wonderful Bach church cantatas.
    But the secular cantatas shouldn't be forgotten. Above these I like most "Schweigt stille" BWV 211 and "Toenet ihr Pauken" BWV 214.

    Before you buy some CDs with Bach cantatas, you should check the following:

    1.) Do you like HIP-recordings?
    If not, you have a problem, because all newer and (IMO) all good recordings are HIP.
    In this case perhaps you should try Scherchen recordings.

    2.) Do you like countertenors?
    If not, you should look on the back side of the CD if there sings a countertenor. IMO there are good ones which I like to hear as well as female contralto.
    To be sure to avoid them, you can take old HIP-recordings like the ones of Richter or the Collegium Aureum.

    3.) Do you like boy's choirs or treble soli?
    I can't stand that, IMO this can perish the best recording...
    So avoid the Harnoncourt or Thomaner recordings!

    My tip: Start with recordings of Gardiner (the older DGG Archiv as well as the new (better, but more expensive) SDG CDs) or Herreweghe (hmf).

    Regards,
    AVH.

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    Senior Member Morigan's Avatar
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    Hi Amade!

    Thanks for you help! I will answer your three questions:

    1) I absolutely love period instrument recordings. I think Baroque sounds much better this way.

    2) I must be a rare specimen: countertenor is my favourite voice!! I think there's a little something missing when a contralto signs the part... but that's still better than transposing the melodic line to make it suit a tenor voice!

    3) Ugh. I can't enjoy anything with a boys choir. (Ok, except maybe Mahler's 8th).

    Anyway, I still haven't gotten started yet, since I'm working on Bach's complete Orgelwerk performed by Walcha (oh yes), but I think I'll start with Gardiner. I like him.

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    Daffodylls
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morigan View Post
    Hi Amade!

    I can't enjoy anything with a boys choir. (Ok, except maybe Mahler's 8th).
    Have you ever tried the “St Matthew passion” directed by Gustav Leonhardt, with no women, but with Rene Jacobs and a boys choir “die Tolzer Knabenchor”?

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    Senior Member Handel's Avatar
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    Argh. Tough choice. But good thread.

    I like a lot Bach's Magnificat. Christen, ätzet diesen Tag too.

    But those I like the most were composed, without suprises, by Handel:

    Apollo e Daphne
    Dixit Dominus
    La Lucrezia
    At first, I discovered the wonders of classical music through the marvels of its baroque period and especially those from Mr. Handel, which explain my forum nickname. About 10 years ago, my interest leaned over classical period and Herr Haydn's production. The music bus recently drove me to the early 1800s. Where will it end?

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    Can't really get into Bach's sound myself, too corporate. I could add in addition to the Handel pieces to mention 'Clori, Tirsi e fileno' a wealth of gems in that one. Look out for the projected collection of Handel 'canate per il cardinal Pamphili' releases on the Glossa label, second one is due for release very soon. First one was very interesting indeed, with a ravishing instrumental sound.

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    Prokofiev's Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution.

    It's got bandoneon's in it; how can it go wrong? Plus a heartstring pulling chorus on the word "philosophy"? Well, it's a sweet piece, and getting better and better known, thanks to digital technology.

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    Bach BMV 79. Thanks.

    Bill

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    My favorite cantatas so far have been Schoenberg's Gurrelieder, Orff's Carmina Burana, Bartok's Cantata Profane, and Webern's Second Cantata. I've also liked what I've heard from Buxtehude.

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    This topic wasn't used for more then 8 years

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