On the 50th volume of Masaaki Suzukis traversal of J.S. Bachs cantatas features works composed by Bach in collaboration with the Leipzig poet Picander (Christian Friedrich Henrici). Three of the works on the disc, along with six others, are all that remain of his cantatas written in 1729. The cantatas here featured generally make sparing use of the choir, but centre on two arias, linked by one or two recitatives, and a final chorale. In addition, the surviving works contain several examples of parody and reuse of earlier instrumental movements as introductions: The opening Sinfonia of BWV 174, uses the first movement of his Third Brandenburg Concerto. The volume features soprano Hana Blaíková, alongside three other familiar soloists of the series: Robin Blaze (counter-tenor), Gerd Türk (tenor) and Peter Kooij (bass). Recent releases from the series have received critical acclaim: in International Record Review, where Volume 48 was described as demonstrating the ever-rising standard, by now quite stratospheric, of Suzuki and his choir and orchestra in this massive recording project.
It's a pleasure to return to this series and find it still so satisfying. --IRR, Mar'12
Suzuki's Dutch training is amply in evidence in terms of tempi, articulation and the vitality with which these performances abound. ***** --Choir and Organ,Mar/Apr'12
As ever, honours must be shared equally between the soloists and the eloquent Obbligato players of Bach Collegium Japan. Robin Blaze is on particular fine form. Performance ***** Recording ***** --BBC Music Magazine,Apr'12