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Thread: Bereitet die Wege, bereitet die Bahn, BWV 132

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    Default Bereitet die Wege, bereitet die Bahn, BWV 132

    Hello to all!
    Name is Victor

    I am new to the forum and I am so glad to be part of it. Although, I mostly will be reading and learning from your posts and comments than writing.

    I'd like to ask which recordings of Bach's Cantata BWV 132 would you consider the top one,
    so far boy soprano Sebastian Henning is one of my favourite.

    Boy Soprano: Sebastian Hennig
    Conductor: Gustav Leonhardt
    Orchestra: Leonhardt-Consort

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    I have four recordings of the Bach's cantata BWV 132 Bereitet die Wege, bereitet die Bahn!. I listened to all of them this afternoon, this is my feedback:

    1. The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir. Ton Koopman // Bach Cantatas Vol.2

    I have a great admiration for Bach cantatas Koopman recordings, though they are quite expensive. Is a good recording but as usual Koopman conducting is a bit cold and needs more brightness. Soloists are good but I am not a fan of Barbara Schlick and for this reason this is not my reference recording, but Christoph Pregardien and Klaus Mertens are both excelent soloists.

    2. The English Baroque Soloists & Monteverdi Choir. John Eliot Gardiner // Bach Cantatas Vol. 13

    The best features of Gardiner's Bach Cantatas are the excellent orchestra and the vocal performance of Monteverdi Choir. My drawback about Gardiner is that his conducting is more theatrical than other cantatas collections, such as Koopman, and individual recordings of Philippe Herreweghe, that I really admire and I am a big fan of him. Gardiner lacks of some sense of drama and devotion, but his conducting has enough contrast and good tempi. As for soloists, I rather prefer Brigitte Geller over Barbara Schlick as soprano and Jan Kobow as always is a great tenor.

    3. Bach Collegium Japan. Masaaki Suzuki // Bach Cantatas Vol. 7

    Suzuki Bach cantatas are usually a reference for most cantatas, since demonstrate a great sense of drama and devotion. Conducting is very solid as well as orchestra performance. The problem here is with soprano Ingrid Schmithsüsen, good at lower pitch while short in higher pitch, I know some cantatas are demanding but Ingrid is clearly inferior to Brigitte Geller. Peter Kooij is excellent but Makoto Sakurada being a great singer is not as good as Pregardien and Kobow in this recording.

    4. La Petite Bande. Sigiswald Kuijken // Bach Cantatas Vol.9

    Kuijken recording is the only I own using Rifkin's OVPP theory for this cantata. Conducting and instrument performance are really solid, tempi is quick according to period practices. As for soloists, Gerlinde Samann as soprano gives an outstanding performance altough I noticed is more theatrical than I would like. Christoph Genz as tenor is a good voice, however, I rather prefer Kobow and Pregardien. Jan Van der Crabben is a good bass but I prefer Klaus Mertens. The fact of using OVPP choir or soloists gives the chorus more clarity.

    Summarizing and because of the reasons given I would rank my recordings for this cantata as follow:
    1. Gardiner / The English Baroque Soloists & Monteverdi Choir
    2. Kuijken / La Petite Bande
    3. Suzuki / Bach Collegium Japan
    4. Koopman / The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir

    I do not own Harnoncourt/Leonhardt Bach cantatas set in my CD collection, but I usually listen to them in mp3. Using kid voices gives Harnoncourt/Leonhardt a good credibility according to period practices, this is how Bach cantatas should be performed. However, those kids are educated in a nineteenth-century tradition and they are not always successful. Competence is strong and there have been many other recordings after Harnoncourt/Leonhardt but is still a reference. In general, I am happy with performance in this cantata BWV 132, Max van Egmond is an outstanding bass and also among my favourites, however I am not really happy with René Jacobs as alto, a great conductor currently but not as good as singer.
    Last edited by JSBach85; Jul-29-2018 at 19:04.

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    I just listened to Rilling on youtube, I thought there was great nobility and passion in the performance which I liked.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Jul-29-2018 at 20:22.

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