Bach: Cantatas Vol 27 / Suzuki, Rydén, Bertin, Kooij, Türk

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There’s a bit of a problem with the inclusion of the lead item on this disc. BWV 80, Ein feste Burg ist under Gott, is the quintessential chorale cantata, but it wasn’t a part of the second Leipzig cycle (1724–25). The most conclusive evidence indicates that in its present form it was first performed later––perhaps as late as 1731––but that it was derived from a much earlier effort, BWV 80a, composed, perhaps, in 1715. What’s more, most current listeners got to know it in an even later version. Bach’s oldest son, Wilhelm Friedemann, added high trumpet and timpani parts when he used the cantata in Halle, where he served from 1746 to 1764. His additions were so skillfully integrated that they were considered authentic and printed in the first Bach edition. Only recently has Bach’s original version come into fashion. Meanwhile, what took Bach so long to settle on his own version of the score? Consider that he was the most Lutheran of all composers, while Ein feste Burg was Martin Luther’s most characteristic hymn. Perhaps, Bach simply felt obliged to get it right, no matter when. The present release confirms that the elder Bach’s solution, without drums and trumpets, is more than adequately stirring––but one secretly hopes that the weight of scholarship will not cause the younger Bach’s version to disappear completely.

Cantatas 5 and 115 are correctly placed in historical context, having been composed for October and November 1724, respectively. Both exemplify Bach’s chorale cantata concept and demonstrate his endless ingenuity. Cantata 5, retelling the story of Jesus healing a crippled man, traces the path from supplication in the tenor aria (with water from the divine spring bubbling in the background) to triumph in the aria for bass with obbligato slide trumpet (tromba da tiarsi). BWV 115, based on the parable of the unforgiving servant, has a pair of remarkable arias, too––one, for alto, depicting sleep; the other, for soprano, representing prayer.

Maestro Suzuki has added two fine new soloists to his roster, the Swedish soprano, Susanne Rydén and the French countertenor Pascal Bertin. The lower parts are handled by series veterans Gerd Türk and Peter Kooij. As always, the performances, the recording, and the presentation are splendid.

George Chien, FANFARE


Product Description:


  • Catalog Number: BIS-CD-1421


  • UPC: 7318590014219


  • Label: BIS


  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach


  • Conductor: Masaaki Suzuki


  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Bach Collegium Japan


  • Performer: Gerd Türk, Pascal Bertin, Peter Kooy, Susanne Rydén



Works:


  1. Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, BWV 80

    Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach

    Ensemble: Bach Collegium Japan

    Performer: Pascal Bertin (Countertenor), Peter Kooy (Bass), Susanne Rydén (Soprano), Gerd Türk (Tenor)

    Conductor: Masaaki Suzuki


  2. Wo soll ich fliehen hin?, BWV 5

    Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach

    Ensemble: Bach Collegium Japan

    Performer: Pascal Bertin (Countertenor), Peter Kooy (Bass), Susanne Rydén (Soprano), Gerd Türk (Tenor)

    Conductor: Masaaki Suzuki


  3. Mache dich, mein Geist, bereit, BWV 115

    Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach

    Ensemble: Bach Collegium Japan

    Performer: Pascal Bertin (Countertenor), Peter Kooy (Bass), Susanne Rydén (Soprano), Gerd Türk (Tenor)

    Conductor: Masaaki Suzuki