J.S. Bach: Psalm 51, BWV 1083 - Vivaldi: Nisi Dominus

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Damien Guillon, who has been proving himself to be a much-admired interpreter of the more spiritual side of Baroque music, now makes his debut on Glossa both as countertenor soloist and director for a fascinating pairing of Bach and Vivaldi psalm settings: Tilge, Höchster, meine Sünden, BWV 1083 and Nisi Dominus, RV 608. Guillon directs his ensemble Le Banquet Céleste (with which he recently made his stage conducting debut in Avignon with Acis and Galatea).

Whilst he was Konzertmeister in Weimar, J.S. Bach was entrusted by his employer with transcribing scores by Vivaldi brought back from Amsterdam, and a fascination ensued with the Venetian composer’s style, especially with that of his concertos. As is pointed out by Stefano Russomanno in his booklet essay for this new recording Vivaldi will have employed the concerto logic also in his sacred vocal works, such as the early Nisi Dominus (Psalm 126) recorded here. It was however a Neapolitan composer from the next generation along in G.B. Pergolesi, whose music Bach turned to as the basis for a setting of Psalm 51, Tilge, Höchster, meine Sünden. The result was a magisterially- rendered reworking – in parody form – of Pergolesi’s theatrical (and catholic) Stabat Mater, adjusted by Bach to accommodate the different demands of the German Protestant text.

The warmth of Guillon’s countertenor finds an ideal match in the soprano Céline Scheen, another fabulous singer of Baroque music, whose vocal agility and purity has been entrancing audiences across Europe in recent years.

Product Description:

  • Release Date: February 26, 2016

  • Catalog Number: GCD 923701

  • UPC: 8424562237018

  • Label: Glossa

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Composer: Antonio Vivaldi, Johann Sebastian Bach

  • Conductor: Damien Guillon

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Le Banquet Céleste

  • Performer: Céline Scheen, Damien Guillon