Bach: Complete Cantatas / Rilling, Stuttgart Bach Collegium
Hänssler CLASSIC is proud to present Helmuth Rilling's landmark recording of the complete Bach Cantatas in a new, specially-price collector's edition. Rilling was the first conductor to ever record the complete Bach cantatas and still, 25 years after they were first released in celebration of the Bach tercentennial in 1985, they remain the standard by which all other interpretations are judged.
Praise for some of the original recordings that make up this set:
"There is no question as to the excellence and distinction of many of Rilling's soloists, which feature a number of famous Bach specialists of the last quartet of a century...Rilling has proved a pragmatist in matters of historical performance practice; he adopts brisk tempos and light accents at times, but allows himself considerable expressive and agogic freedom." – Penguin Guide [2003/4 Edition]
In particular, Rilling's unaffectedly musical, period-performance-influenced but undogmatic approach seems designed to sustain long-term listener satisfaction. He's so strong in the basic qualities that matter most. For example, he has the best soloists of any major series of Bach vocal works--names like Arlene Auger, Juliane Banse, Matthias Goerne, Christophe Prégardien, Christine Schäfer--the list reads like a "who's who" of major late-20th-century singers. The choral singing also is uniformly superb.
– David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
The intensity of colour and expression in these works is stunning – the surging, brass-capped elation of Unser Mund sei voll Lachens, so full of the simple joy of the Christian message, the searching meditation on temptation in Selig ist der Mann, the seemingly bottomless well of spiritual sustenance plumbed in the chorale conclusions. Rilling’s performances (on modern instruments) are neatly tailored and naturally benevolent in nature, buoyant with the wholesomeness and warmth that this great music so frequently emanates. There is simply no better way of celebrating a musical Christmas.
– Terry Blain, BBC Music Magazine
I'm not sure whether Helmuth Rilling has acquired a reputation for seriousness, though his recorded legacy—crowned by his complete Bach sacred cantatas series—has tended toward music of high purpose; for a primarily choral conductor, it couldn't be otherwise. Nevertheless, he shows a light touch on this disc that is in keeping with this music's intent to entertain. Rilling continues to buck trends. His instruments are modern, and his choir is relatively large (49 voices) but always precise and flexible. He does not always forsake velocity, as collectors of the sacred cantatas series will recall: Pales's wonderful second aria and its appended instrumental interlude skip smartly along. "Sheep" obeys the speed limit, but just barely. As usual, Rilling has assembled a splendid set of young soloists, who not only sing well but also get with the action.
– George Chien, Fanfare
Catalog Number: 98630
Label: SWR Music
Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor: Helmuth Rilling
Orchestra/Ensemble: Frankfurt Kantorei, Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart, Indiana University Chamber Singers, Stuttgart Bach Collegium, Stuttgart Gedächtniskirche Figuralchor, Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn
Performer: Adalbert Kraus, Albert Michael Locher, Aldo Baldin, Alyce Rogers, Andreas Schmidt, Ann Murray, Arleen Augér, Barbara Haupt-Brauckmann, Boris Kleiner, Carolyn Watkinson, Christiane Oelze, Christine Schäfer, Christoph Genz, Constanza Cuccaro, Constanze Schumacher, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Dietrich Henschel, Doris Soffel, Edith Wiens, Elisabeth Graf, Else Paaske, Eva Csapó, Eva Kirchner, Eva Oltiványi, Francis Goutou, Friedreich Melzer, Gabriele Schnaut, Gabriele Schreckenbach, Günter Pfitzenmaier, Günther Passin, Hanns-Friedrich Kunz, Hans Haublein, Hans Wolf, Hans-Joachim Erhard, Harro Bertz, Hedda Rothweiler, Heldrun Gardow, Helen Donath, Helen Watts, Hermann Josef Kahlenbach, Hildegard Laurich, Hubert Buchberger, Inga Nielsen, Ingeborg Danz, Ingeborg Reichelt, Jacques Chambon, James Taylor, Jan Karas, Jean-Claude Gérard, John Bröcheler, Judith Beckmann, Julia Hamari, Jürgen Wolf, Katharina Pugh, Kathrin Graf, Klaus Häger, Klaus Kärcher, Klaus Thunemann, Kurt Equiluz, Kurt Etzold, Lothar Odinius, Lutz-Michael Harder, Magdalene Schreiber, Marcus Ullmann, Marga Höffgen, Margret Jetter, Maria Friesenhausen, Markus Schäfer, Marlis Petersen, Martha Schuster, Matthias Goerne, Mechthild Georg, Michael Behringer, Michael Gross, Michael Volle, Montserrat Torrent, Nancy Burns, Niklaus Tüller, Nobuko Yamamoto, Norma Lerer, Oly Pfaff, Peter Gartiser, Peter Maus, Peter Schreier, Philippe Huttenlocher, Ria Bollen, Shihomi Inoue-Heller, Sibylla Rubens, Siegmund Nimsgern, Stanford Olsen, Theo Altmeyer, Thomas Lom, Thomas Quasthoff, Verena Gohl-Müller, Walter Forchert, Walter Heldwein, Wolfgang Schöne, Yvonne Naef