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Thread: The Bach Cantatas thread

  1. #16
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    My favorite Bach Cantata is "Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen". Only great coloratura sopranos need apply. Maria Stader's performance with Karl Richter conducting is the best I've ever heard.

    I'm not into collecting all of the Bach Cantatas, though I know Gardiner and Suzuki performances rate very highly.
    Last edited by hpowders; Feb-27-2016 at 13:09.

  2. #17
    Senior Member Muse Wanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morimur View Post
    Is it just me or is the Suzuki box set only available as an import . . . for like $1,600.00
    It seems you are looking at the Japan Import SACD box.

    The complete set in one box will be available in April for £191 (UK)

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bach-Cantata...i+bach+cantata

    http://www.mdt.co.uk/bach-the-comple...ki-suzuki.html

    It should be available to purchase in the States in the same period.
    Last edited by Muse Wanderer; Feb-27-2016 at 13:04.

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  4. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieter View Post
    I feel the same way about Harnoncourt and Leonhardt's insistence to use boys to sing some of the most sensual and beautiful music ever written. They mostly butcher it.

    Such great great music.
    I like this cantata very much and it is very well performed,in my opinion.I am still in favour of this recordings .

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  6. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by traverso View Post
    I like this cantata very much and it is very well performed,in my opinion.I am still in favour of this recordings .
    I still listen to them too. Am immensely grateful to the friends Harnoncourt and Leonhardt for their brave and revolutionary collaboration. They invigorated and promoted performance of the Sacred Cantatas.

    That kid was terrific and, to my ears, much better suited to the music than the more operatic female voices I hear in pre-HIP recordings. I see what a poster meant about boy soloists though. I think the soprano/bass duets in Wachtet Auf (BWV 140) for instance, don't work. Partly because of the lack of balance between the two voices and partly because the music is too seductive for that combination. My ideal of a Bach soprano is Barbara Schlick, who is now retired, though I could name other sopranos (mostly German or Japanese) whose work I love.

    On the other hand, I enjoy the raw energy of some of the German language boys' choruses. I've seen videos of these amateurs and some of the kids are giving it all they've got! Listening to them, I can imagine JSB himself waving his arms around in front of the choir and terrorising them.
    Last edited by jenspen; Feb-28-2016 at 01:52.

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  8. #20
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    This is one of my favourites

  9. #21
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    [QUOTE=jenspen;1028069]

    On the other hand, I enjoy the raw energy of some of the German language boys' choruses. I've seen videos of these amateurs and some of the kids are giving it all they've got! Very well put.

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  11. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieter View Post
    There are so many great recordings of Back Cantatas. I grew up with the Fritz Werner recordings, old fashioned but Werner had fantastic singers and instrumentalists. From this period I also likes Richer until he slowed right down towards the end. The quirky gem was Scherchen. I'd love to get hold of his 42, still the most stunning orchestral prelude I've heard.
    Then along came Harnoncourt and Leonhardt. I heard an interview with Harnoncourt recently where he related his bitter experiences as an orchestral player with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. He hated Geoge Szell: he said there were times he wanted to kill him
    I feel the same way about Harnoncourt and Leonhardt's insistence to use boys to sing some of the most sensual and beautiful music ever written. They mostly butcher it.
    Gardiner is ok if you like that sexless British choral sound, Herrewghe is ok too. I like Koopman, Suzuki, and as a smokey, the Rotsch recorings made in East Germany.
    Such great great music.
    Richer is of course meant to be Kart Richter.
    There is also a supremely beautiful rendition of #170. The alto is Aafje Heynis and it's available on Australian Eloquence.

  12. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muse Wanderer View Post
    It seems you are looking at the Japan Import SACD box.

    The complete set in one box will be available in April for £191 (UK)
    Back in the '90s when Suzuki began his cycle, I was going to put $50 in the stock market and wait for it to grow so that when the box set came out, I could purchase it with my ill-gotten gains. Unfortunately, I haven't had the best luck with legalized gambling, so it looks like I'm to remain happy with the Brilliant set.

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  14. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manxfeeder View Post
    Back in the '90s when Suzuki began his cycle, I was going to put $50 in the stock market and wait for it to grow so that when the box set came out, I could purchase it with my ill-gotten gains. Unfortunately, I haven't had the best luck with legalized gambling, so it looks like I'm to remain happy with the Brilliant set.
    Ahhh... you are better served listening to Suzuki pieces found at random on youtube.

    The Brilliant cycle is the least engaging, most boring set of them all. The more I try to listen to it, the more I am repelled.

    But then it could just be me addicted to the my precious Suzuki cantatas. I adore them all!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Muse Wanderer View Post
    Ahhh... you are better served listening to Suzuki pieces found at random on youtube.

    The Brilliant cycle is the least engaging, most boring set of them all. The more I try to listen to it, the more I am repelled.

    But then it could just be me addicted to the my precious Suzuki cantatas. I adore them all!
    I have a soft spot for the Brilliant set. They are probably the closest to being historically informed performances in that they probably sounded like Bach's choir; competent, at times maybe brilliant, but not having a lot of time tease out the details like the present choirs are able to. So Leusink's choir is Bach as it was and Suzuki is Bach as it should be.

    Of course, I have several Koopman, Gardiner, Herreweghe, and Suzuki CDs to supplement it, so I at least have a nice mix.

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  17. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manxfeeder View Post
    I have a soft spot for the Brilliant set.
    Yes, me too. In fact I prefer them in general to the Rilling set (which I also have). The Brilliant set is too often run-down IMO.

    I recently bought the translations to all the Cantatas in paperback; one could I suppose view them as mini-operas. Not to be confused with the more theatrical oratorios of Handel though. Bach is pretty fire and brimstone, hell and damnation stuff. Still it provides an additional dimension to the aural pleasure.
    Last edited by KRoad; Mar-07-2016 at 21:12.

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  19. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manxfeeder View Post
    I have a soft spot for the Brilliant set. They are probably the closest to being historically informed performances in that they probably sounded like Bach's choir; competent, at times maybe brilliant, but not having a lot of time tease out the details like the present choirs are able to. So Leusink's choir is Bach as it was and Suzuki is Bach as it should be.

    Of course, I have several Koopman, Gardiner, Herreweghe, and Suzuki CDs to supplement it, so I at least have a nice mix.
    You do have a point there. Suzuki did start his project in 1995 for goodness' sake! Leusinck had less than a year to record the entire set.

    I just listened to a few cantatas from Leusinck's Set to see if I keep missing something. I also listened to BWV 147 from Suzuki, Gardiner and Leusinck.

    Suzuki is excellent and the best in my opinion. BWV 147 is nicely balanced, with excellent instrumental music, vocals and timing. The recording quality and engineering is absolutely fantastic as always from BIS. Suzuki's rendition of the famous choral is stupefying!

    Gardiner's BWV 147 is good but too fast with the choral! That choral is not what I was expecting. Voices are great but a bit too emotional at times. The intrumental music is excellent as is the recording and sound engineering.

    Leusinck's BWV 147 instrumental music is fine with good tonality but sounds congested at times. The recording quality is not good. The main problem is the vocal performers. Whilst the bass is good and the tenor is fine, the soprano is mediocre and the alto is absolutely horrific! They spoil all the fun and it is such a shame. The cantatas I have heard from the Leusinck (Brilliant) set suffer from the same issues.

    The problem with this is once I heard much better recorded cantatas, going back to 'ok' perfomance feels like listening to any random local orchestra / chorus.

    Leusinck did record the cycle in less than a year and unlike Gardiner did not have great vocal performers and an excellent orchestra to support him. He does convey the essence of the music but unlike Suzuki or Gardiner's excellence, Leusinck can only be considered as mediocre / good quality.
    Last edited by Muse Wanderer; Mar-08-2016 at 14:15.

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  21. #28
    Senior Member MrTortoise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRoad View Post
    Yes, me too. In fact I prefer them in general to the Rilling set (which I also have). The Brilliant set is too often run-down IMO.

    I recently bought the translations to all the Cantatas in paperback; one could I suppose view them as mini-operas. Not to be confused with the more theatrical oratorios of Handel though. Bach is pretty fire and brimstone, hell and damnation stuff. Still it provides an additional dimension to the aural pleasure.
    I'm curious what translation your purchased. I'm currently using the Bach-Cantata website for translations of the texts:

    http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/index.htm

    Some seem less successful than others, however that is based on the consistency of the English of the translation, I know no German.

    I'm currently making my way through the Koopman cantata cycle, nearly half-way through, so I'm looking for resources to supplement the experience and my knowledge. I used to listen to vocal music as absolute music, mostly ignoring the text, however over the last few years the importance of the text has grown on me.
    Last edited by MrTortoise; Mar-08-2016 at 14:04.

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  23. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muse Wanderer View Post
    Whilst the bass is good and the tenor is fine, the soprano is mediocre and the alto is absolutely horrific! They spoil all the fun and it is such a shame.
    From my understanding, Ruth Holton was intentionally trying to sound like a boy soprano, so she doesn't get very expressive. So I give her some slack. But I agree, the alto is horrible. Someone described him as sounding like he just came from the dentist.
    Last edited by Manxfeeder; Mar-08-2016 at 23:46.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Muse Wanderer View Post
    You do have a point there. Suzuki did start his project in 1995 for goodness' sake! Leusinck had less than a year to record the entire set.
    The Leusinck set has many disadvantages; I had no idea he recorded all the cantatas in less than a year. That would explain the sub-par interpretations and execution. Of course, as a buyer, I don't give any slack for the small time period. It was a stupid way to go about it.

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