Autumn Bach Cantatas

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RE: Autumn Bach Cantatas

Since this distinctive thread comes to a possible end, I may inform you about some pertinent new releases:

- Archiv released a Box set with all the Cantatas the great Karl Richter had recorded for the esteemed label. It is a 26 CD box set, at a budget price! A must for those who still appreciate or wish to idulge in this side of the authority in Bach's music.

- Mirare released a very beautiful single CD with some very pivotal Christmas Cantatas, under the title In Tempore Nativitatis. The Cantatas, superbly performed by the Ricercar Consort under Philippe Pierlot, are the BWV 63,110 & 151. Brilliant recording and excellent production.

- Sony released a fine disc with the Cantatas BWV 82, 84 and 199 with the very interesting Soprano Christine Schafer, in a very well recorded and produced CD.

- Profil released a rare recording from 1961 of the Mass in b minor, with Karl Richter and great soloists, such as M. Stader, H. Topper, E. Haefliger and D. Fischer-Dieskau. It comes in a double CD (at mid-price) along with Cantata No.147.

Parla

 

RE: Autumn Bach Cantatas

Hello members of the Bach Cantata appreciation society. Well, I've managed to get some listening done this weekend, though not as much as I'd hoped.

First off Chris, the Berg violin concerto. I listened again to a fantastic reading of it yesterday by Mutter/ Chicago/Levine on DG. I also have another recording of it by Menuhin/Suiss Romande/Ansermet. Mutter, as always, is bang on the button, and I am lucky as I've said before that I have seen/heard her live in my time in I think at least three concerts. I think she has unmatched spiritual depth in her playing.

I have always liked this work. I think it's a masterful work. Not quite sure if it's a masterpiece, 95% sure.

The harmonisation of 'that chorale' is beautifully done - what really stands out is the use of the woodwind choirs to sound like an organ. The overall structure and orchestration in this work are wonderful - I just wish for some slightly more memorable melodic phrases than the motives and short phrases used, but there is (following it with the score) a heck of a lot of very intricate solo work for the violin and a real depth of expressiveness. Berg's orchestration is, well...first-class.

As to where we go next - I honestly don't know. We could go the bigger choral works, or as suggested above, provide a contrast with looking at one of the instrumental oeuvres. The Brandenburg concertos? Or keyboard or organ works?

Anyhow, I've just listened this afternoon to 115. I'm  abit out-of-sync I know, but I thought this one was lovely and surprsingly not 'heavy' when the basic theme is to be on guard against the powers of you know who.

With this in mind, 1 was surprisingly 'jaunty', but full of those Bachian descending melodic sequences. (Be alert lest the evil day overtake thee being the jist of this one). Perhaps the jaunty ritornellos are intended to sugegst that state of alertness required. The expressiveness in 2 is really touching - since 2 is about 'the slumbering spirit'.

There is a bizarre interpolation of a brief Allegro passage late on in this Adagio movement, that can only be intended in my book to represent this:

For well may damnation thee sudden awaken

Yes, it's a sudden quick awakening -  a rude awakening to use the English colloquial phrase. But it quickly subsides and teh spirit slumbers off again. Tut! Tut!

And, if thou not watchest,
In slumber of lasting perdition obscure thee.

3. Recit. (B) - a nice 'bold' recit on the words that God is watching you, and wants what is best for you, so be wary of certain things - the night of sin, breaking the bond of grace, and those 'untrue brothers' who flatter to deceive.

4 Has a similarly poignant mood to 2 - you must pray when awake, and beg the Judge that he set you free from sin. 5 has an important mention of teh Son which isn't eapecially highlighted - the Son if we ask will give us strength and courage when our foes laugh at our woes.

6 Oh for a simple closing chorale in G major! Just a hint of 1 or 2 'passing' modulations if you know what I mean. No tortuously remote chords, no third chord in bar 1 bult on a sharpened tonic as a root note, no tritones, no blistering dissonances, just a good ol' fashioned hymn tune in G major! The chorale synthesizes the themes of this one: we must watch, beg and pray -

For the day
Is not far
When our God will judge us
And the world demolish.

Sorry guys to cut comments a bit short on this one, but needs must.

Back anon...

Mark

Fraz Jo - disapntd. Bn ringin this grl al week. No ansr...looks lke she changed her mnd. O well...Ldwg...

RE: Autumn Bach Cantatas

Chris, you can locate (and order) this massive box of Richter Bach Cantatas (Archiv Catalogue no. 4808383, 26 CDs. It contains 75 Cantatas), on the following e-retailers:

- Presto Classical: Supposedly, it was released in U.K. on Nov. 4 and you can get it for $98 (this the price given for S.E. Asia). (Search either in the "labels" or with the name of the conductor).

- JPC.de : Release date is Nov. 15 and the price given Euros 69.99.

- Amazon.de : Release date is Dec. 13 and the price given Euros 67,61.

I ordered it from jpc.de, on Nov.15, and I'm expecting it anytime soon...

I'm sure you can get it from one of the above sources, if you really need it. I don't thnk anyone of us can have all these 75 Cantatas. The ratio comes to around 2.69 Euros per disc. Not that bad!..

Parla

RE: Autumn Bach Cantatas

Hi guys - sorry to be brief again (it's another week of ungodly hours for me) but yes, I'd say go ahead with the advent cantatas.

Now if there's one piece guaranteed to move me during advent it has to be, of course,

Zion hears the watchmen sleeping.

And sleep is a-calling. Zzzzzzz.....

Fraz Jo - disapntd. Bn ringin this grl al week. No ansr...looks lke she changed her mnd. O well...Ldwg...

RE: Autumn Bach Cantatas

Hello Bach cantata fans. I have been much impressed with your highly informed contributions to this thread and I have learned a great deal. But no one, I think, has referred to the incomplete series of recordings by La Petite Bande under the lead of Sigiswald Kuijken. Some regard these recordings as unorthodox, others regard them as closer to the original intentions of Bach. We love these versions. I am interested to read your opinion on these recordings?

When it comes to the Advent cantatas the CD by La Petite Bande is volume 9 in the series produced on the Accent label. It is a CD/Hybrid SACD/SACD recording. Available with Amazon and many others. Could we take this version with us in the thread on the Advent cantatas?

RE: Autumn Bach Cantatas

Many thanks Cameron and Chris for your very kind welcome. I have traced the contributions with references to Kuijken which were appreciative although Chris seems to doubts about the OVPP approach. I very much appreciated Parla's reference yo Kuijken as a "maverick...brilliant". Very the same feeling here. It is at least refreshing compared to large chorus versions.

Parla referred to vol 16 in the series but vol 17 has recently appeared with BWV 186, 168, 136, 54 on Accent ACC 25315. Three to go if 20 is to be the completed series.

La Petite Band was badly hit by the withdrawal of state subsidies for their work. Great efforts have been put into raising alternative sources of funding through LFB Friends which includes private individuals and sponsors. On 9th December they will play the Weihnachtsoratorium at a fund-raising concert in Bruxelles.

There are some Youtube films available but little Bach.

P.S. Yes, we are two. My wife and I listen together in the evenings and at weekends. I have time to contribute our ideas to this thread. Will not be learned contributions from us but an informed interest in your discussions.

By the way, if any of you listen to internet-radio we can recommend the Dutch broadcaster Concertzender which has a stream devoted to "Oude Muziek" - Old Music - with a sub-stream entitled "Geen dag zonder Bach" - No day without Bach". These are my "background" listening during the day. This can be found at: http://www.concertzender.nl/

Currently listening to:Philippe de Monte (1521-1603).
- Missa Sine Nomine: Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei.
La Capella Ducale en Musica Fiata Koln olv Roland Wilson.

 

RE: Autumn Bach Cantatas

Chris, no one has said yet we PREFER ovpp! Liking is not the same as preference....

Socrates, I'd heard about their financial troubles but wasn't sure what it meant on practical terms... Lets hope for the best.

See you all in the new thead!

RE: Autumn Bach Cantatas

Chris, definitely you are not in this minority group of OVPP alone. While I did not participate that much in the substance of your deliberations, I found your undrstanding much more meaningful and to the point.

Kuijken's Vol.17 came out and is in his usual fairly good but always intriguing fashion. Suzuki's last Vol. 55 is rather worthy of the superlatives he has sometimes received, while he is in fact closer to the...golden mediocrity side. The actual good news in the recording releases is the 26CD box of all the Cantatas Karl Richter recorded for Archiv. His period was this truly golden one, where solid Music authorities existed, the Classical Music flourished, superb soloists were in abundance and recording companies were in great form and high spirits.

I wish you some good "investing time" in any new thread to be initiated by any of you. I will try to follow it...accordingly, but you may take into account that this period is for me the worst of the year, in terms of workload, engagements and finalisation of various tasks.

Good luck!

Parla

P.S.: I "like" this distinction of "liking" and "preference", camaron, but I don't...prefer it.

RE: Autumn Bach Cantatas call center

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RE: Autumn Bach Cantatas

well that is so sweet :P

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