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Bach: Cantatas Vol.18 (Cantatas For Christmas Day/ Epiphany) [Double CD]

John Eliot Gardiner Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
Price: £22.02 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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The outstanding English conductor, John Eliot Gardiner, first took up the baton at the age of fifteen. As an undergraduate student at Cambridge University, he toured the Middle East conducting the Oxford and Cambridge Singers before founding the Monteverdi Choir in 1964. After graduating, he studied with Thurston Dart in London and with Nadia Boulanger in Paris.

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Frequently Bought Together

Bach: Cantatas Vol.18 (Cantatas For Christmas Day/ Epiphany) + Bach: Cantatas Vol.12 (Cantatas For 22/ 23 Sunday After Trinity)
Price For Both: £42.81

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Product details

  • Conductor: Gardiner
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (27 Sep 2010)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Double CD
  • Label: Sdg
  • ASIN: B0040VSQHO
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 86,787 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Cantatas for Christmas Day - Various Performers
2. Cantatas for the Feast of Epiphany - Various Performers
Disc: 2
1. Cantatas for the First Sunday after Epiphany - Various Performers

Product Description


Gardiner's quixotic project to release all the recordings from his Bach cantata pilgrimage of 2000 is completed in 27 volumes. With live recordings from myriad venues it's amazing that such a high standard has been maintained: the music dazzles continuously and the performances show how far we have come since the first generation of period-instrument recordings. The blazing confidence of BWV 63 and BWV 191 (derived from the Gloria of the B minor Mass) are unbeatable; only the great opening chorus of BWV 140 ("Sleepers Wake") seems oddly brittle. There's great solo work from Claron McFadden, Bernarda Fink and others, with some more variable contributions, and when Gardiner and his team hit their stride, as in the final ecstatic duet of BWV 32, you never want it to end. But end it has, a tremendous achievement for the ensemble, and for the fledgling company Soli Dei Gloria. --The Observer,14/11/10

Masterly throughout --BBC Music Magazine,Christmas'10

If you are collecting the series-and even if you aren't-you wont be disappointed.Gardiner's direction is hard to fault,the instrumental playing is excellent and the choir and soloists are not far behind. *** --Classic fm Magazine,Feb'11

If you are collecting the series-and even if you aren't-you wont be disappointed.Gardiner's direction is hard to fault,the instrumental playing is excellent and the choir and soloists are not far behind. *** --Classic fm Magazine,Feb'11

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Journey's end 6 Oct 2010
By Teemacs TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
...and what a great journey it has been. A wonderful voyage of discovery through a corpus of music that is relatively unknown and which has so many gems. Paradoxically, this, the last release in the Pilgrimage Series, was the first to be recorded, in Weimar at Christmas 1999. As a result, part of it shares the all-star cast that made Gardiner's brilliant Christmas Oratorio DVD in the Herderkirche, Weimar, including the great soprano-alto duo of Claron McFadden and Bernarda Fink. The highlights here are the marvellous BWV63 "Christen, äztet diesen Tag" and BWV65 "Sie werden aus Saba alle kommen", but the others also receive great performances.

Did you ever think of Jesus as a groover? Just listen to the gorgeous duet "Nun verschwinden alle Plagen" in BWV 32 "Liebster Jesu, mein Verlangen" of the soul and Jesus (respectively Magdalena Kozena and Peter Harvey), and if you can sit still and not tap your toes or sway along, have a friend check you for a pulse.

So (sniff) what am I going to buy now? The good news is that the missing stuff, such as BWV11 ("Lobet Gott in seinem Reichen" aka the Ascension Oratorio, numbered in the cantata sequence, but generally not regarded as one) will be recorded. Moreover, that corking Christmas Oratorio will appear on CD. Please join the queue (the one forming behind me).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars COME TO THE DANCE 23 Dec 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The text of one of the Christmas Day cantatas here actually says `Come to the dance' - kommt zum Reihen. To me it seems a very appropriate thing to say, as the Bach cantatas are a kind of dance of the cherubim and seraphim, the music of the angels of God. For newcomers, John Eliot Gardiner and his associates went on a `pilgrimage' in the year 2000, the 250th anniversary of the master's death, during which they performed all of them at a succession of different locations on the liturgical dates (so far as that is possible in different years) for which they were written. Christmas Day is obviously the same in as many years as you like, and I think that this may be the first inkling provided that the show got on the road just a week before its official year, with the cantatas for Christmas itself. This is the last of the 27-part series to be issued, it appears, it is obviously the first set of performances, so the reason why it has the sequence-number 18 must follow from those facts in some way.

The sequence of my own collecting is not such a truth above reason but ordinary basic numbering, and this is the 22nd of the series that I now own. My reviews of these have become repetitious, but I make no apology because what I have been repeating, with very rare exceptions, is an unqualified paean of praise. This is a simply magnificent project, not just for the vision and dedication needed to plan it and carry it through but for the sheer consistent excellence of the work at the individual level of the successive issues. This particular set makes a superb impression from the outset, with a particularly opulent sound deriving from the exceptionally large orchestral forces.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bach Cantatas Vol 18 4 Jan 2011
Format:Audio CD
The music of J S Bach is almost essential listening for Advent and Christmas and this volume in the John Eliot Gardiner series is a pure delight. The orchestral playing is very sensitive and the solo and choral work achieve a fine balance with the orchestra. Bach is here portrayed as the undeniable master that he is.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Not before time, the Paraclete has finally landed on that famous beatnik mop of hair. Yes indeed: Jeggy has surpassed himself here and by a wide margin. I laboriously prised Volume 18 from the library in the expectation it would be another instalment of `brisk efficiency' - how wrong I was. Fair dinkum this is easily among his best recordings ever.

Mind you, the card does not hurt Jeggy's cause. The first dance of the night is a bona fide masterpiece: Christen, ätzet diesen Tag" (the other cantatas are fine works but not quite on this level). BWV 63 could so easily be the seventh instalment of the Christmas Oratorio (and in passing, all the cantatas here are yuletide works). Even if the text were to be reduced to wordless melismas, one would instinctively look to Bethlehem for its inspiration. What a work and what a performance! Credit should also be given to the soloists who are invariably excellent. Claron McFadden sings like an angel in the recitativo `Alt O sel'ger Tag (her shadings are exquisite) and much the same could be said of Magdalena Kozená in the other cantatas (on her tone alone, one can semi-understand why Sir Simon Rattle decided to `broaden' the conjugal load).

There is no sense here that Jeggy is jauntily skating over a spiritual experience: it's thrilling, gutsy, reverential and majestic all at once; for instance, the earlier version of the Gloria from the Mass in B Minor (BWV 191) has more 'spiritual ooze' to its name than the DG recording from 1985. Odd, isn't it? I am at a loss to explain why Jeggy is so attuned to the marrow of these works whereas the connection is so fitful elsewhere. The English Baroque Soloists play for all their worth and (thankfully) then some more and the recording is well and truly in the demonstration class.

What a pity that every instalment of Jeggy's Bach Pilgrimage is not cut from the same cloth.

Gun stuff.
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