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Thread: The Bach Cantatas thread

  1. #31
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    [QUOTE=traverso;1028298]
    Quote Originally Posted by jenspen View Post

    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.
    German boy choirs sound much more engaged and expressive than English boy choirs. From Ramin to Rotsch, the choirs from Leipzig sing joyfully.

  2. #32
    Senior Member Muse Wanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog View Post
    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.
    I completely agree. The whole Leusinck project took 15 months to be precise. It was criticised at the time for rushing through these at mass market production. The results are there to be listened to and they are far from ideal.

    Gardiner within the same time period managed to record a really fine set. His undertaking was miraculous.

    Suzuki started in 1995 and finished in 2013! Now that is dedication! And his set in my opinion, is perfection incarnate (I am a biased fan ). He took his time until he got it right.

    Prospective buyers should chose wisely and not be lured by cheaper sets. It is not worth the money or time it takes to listen. Every single cantata is a treasure to behold and having it ruined by amateur performance is a shame.

    JS Bach's cantatas may well be the culmination of a journey into Bach's works and I think chosing a well performed set is crucial in fulfilling that aim.

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  4. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muse Wanderer View Post

    He took his time until he got it right.
    ...until he got it right - please explain.

    Re: libretti:

    Z. Philip Ambrose

    ISBN-13 978-1-4134-4600-5

    BTW: Gardiner really not something one should over-rate.
    Last edited by KRoad; Mar-09-2016 at 21:43.

  5. #34
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    Do others like the Suzuki recordings as much as I do? I find I often prefer them to Gardiner's outings because there is more heart in them. I have also greatly enjoyed the few cantata recordings of the Ricercar Consort with Pierre Pierlot.

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    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Happened on this thread this morning while exploring Sigiswald Kuijken's recordings (via Tidal) for the first time. Enjoying the one to a part aspect. A nice contrast to the Gardiner, Richter, Harnoncourt et al in my collection.
    Last edited by jegreenwood; Mar-13-2016 at 15:06.

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    Interesting topic. I dont have a complete cycle of all the cantatas, but I have gone though Richter's recording on Archiv for many times. The singers did an excellent job, and Ricther's unique reading of Bach really fits me.
    From a non-technical point of view, here are some of my favorite sacred cantatas in this set:
    BWV4,8,11,12,21,23,45,51,56,61,63,67,78,80,82,92,1 06,132,140,147,199.
    Also I am looking for some well-known sacred cantatas that did not included in the set, like:
    BWV29,42,54,110,119,161,131,143,170,172,198.

  9. #37
    Junior Member Asterix77's Avatar
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    I own several complete sets, Leusink, Koopman, Rilling, Suzuki. A few Gardiner recordings and all Herreweghe recordings, but he does not record the complete cantata's unfortunately.

    I prefer Herreweghe, but from the complete sets I prefer Koopman, Suzuki.
    I have a weak spot for Bach's early canata's, but there are lots of great ones, like 21, 70, 106, 78, 131, 35, 146, .......too many

  10. #38
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    Suzuki's set is closest to the church spirit I think. Gardiner's set sounds more dramatic in interpretation.

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  12. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtMusic View Post
    Suzuki's set is closest to the church spirit I think. Gardiner's set sounds more dramatic in interpretation.
    Spot on

  13. #40
    Senior Member arnerich's Avatar
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    This movement from Cantata 101 melts my soul


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    Junior Member Fletcher's Avatar
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    Forgive me, i posted a very similar reply in the other Cantata thread without having noticed this newer and more active one.

    I started listening to the Cantata's of of J.S. Bach aged thirteen when I began listening to classical music. Several years later I think I've more or less heard all on disc, and have been fortunate to have performed a few (and counting) within recent years. They've become my favourite and most listened to works of music as well as serving me well in times of joy and despair.

    As an atheist I find it difficult to find as much consolation in the libretti of many of the cantatas as others do. Though I find Bach's ability to tell stories and paint pictures using both words and music deeply fascinating:

    One of the first i came to hear was BWV 63, Christen, ätzet diesen Tag, which is generally a good starting point in the treasure trove of Bach's Cantatas. The first Recitative, O selger Tag! takes the form of an operatic arioso. From the beginning, fitting with the text 'O blissful day', Bach paints a very tranquil picture. Ten bars in on mention of Satan's power, the tempo slows a little and the parts become busier featuring intrusive rising and falling arpeggios in the continuo plunging us into a minor tonality - perhaps these three bars depict the struggle to free from Satan's chains.

    I also love how Bach wrote for instrument as he would for voice and in doing so found fitting combinations of instrumentation for his arias. The first aria from Cantata BWV 63, Gott, du hast es wolh gefüget is a gorgeous duet between soprano and bass accompanied by a solo oboe. It is Bach's use of oboe - one of the most prominent of instruments in his cantatas - which led me to taking up the baroque oboe!


    John Eliot Gardiner rehearsing Cantata BWV 63

    --

    When it comes to listening to the Cantatas I adore the power of the Monteverdi Choir for the big chorus' but find Gardiner's approach to the arias too mechanical. Koopman and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra convey a little more of the jazz in Bach's writing through use of tempo, as well as the inclusion of a lute/theorbo and Koopmans own organ obligatos. (I'm a little more biased to the Amsterdam lot as one of my teachers played with them for these Cantata cycles!)

    There are some newer artists deserving attention: the J.S. Bach Stiftung, and as mentioned above, Philippe Pierlot / Ricercar Consort who have made some very pleasing recordings (including BWV 63).
    Last edited by Fletcher; Aug-21-2016 at 16:14.

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  17. #42
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    I have read this thread, very interesting. I possess the Rilling, 25 CDs Leusink and 5 CDs Rotzsch. The Rilling I have bought a couple of weeks ago. It was a special offer of Amazon Germany, only 35 Euros for the whole big box, really next to nothing, so I couldn't resist. I must say that I like the Rilling, he has good singers and good orchestral forces. So in the moment I am listening to the whole box. And I must say that I am very impressed by all the good ideas Bach has to offer. There are of course favourite cantatas and of course there are special pieces in the cantatas which are especially fine, but I must say that of the 6 CDs I have started with, I have listened to nearly every CD with joy.

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  19. #43
    Senior Member helenora's Avatar
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    I'm into his cantatas at the moment, listening just on random without following any particular order, maybe I will llisten to them in order they where composed , but later...
    Man muss das Leben tanzen

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    Senior Member SiegendesLicht's Avatar
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    The Bach cantatas are my second favorite collection of works of a single genre (after Wagner operas). The only recording of them I have is the one made by Karl Richter and the Münchener Bach-Orchester. Does anybody else have it? I am not sure I even need any other ones so far, because this one is so good, especially since the bass parts are sung by my favorite Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. I listen to a few of the cantatas every once in a while. As for my favorites - I keep discovering ones that I really like after repeated listening. The last one is BWV158 "Der Friede sei mit dir". Dietrich singing "Der Friede sei mit dir, mit dir..." sounds so very, well, peaceful.
    ... yet for us will still remain the holy German art... (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg)
    ***
    God gave all men all earth to love,
    But since our hearts are small,
    Ordained for each one spot should prove
    Beloved over all.
    R. Kipling

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  22. #45
    Senior Member helenora's Avatar
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    a little bit of a personal story about me and cantatas.
    First I got acquainted with them when I was at the age of 13-14, we had a family friend an old gentleman who listened to classical music every single day and JS Bach was his favorite composer and he liked his cantatas a lot. It was my first exposure to cantatas , to say the truth I wasn't fascinated with them - no wonder at such age Beethoven is what youth needs even though I liked Bach's Klavier music and even his Mass, but cantatas....I thought it was for older people and definitely not for my taste, but now rediscovering them again and I do love them

    it seems that some pieces of CM aren't for kids or it takes time and right time to appreciate them
    Man muss das Leben tanzen

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