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Bach: Cantatas Volume 54 [BWV14/ 100/ 197/ 197a] [Masaaki Suzuki] Hybrid SACD, SACD

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  • Bach: Cantatas Volume 54 [BWV14/ 100/ 197/ 197a] [Masaaki Suzuki]
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  • Bach: Cantatas Volume 55
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  • Bach: Cantatas Volume 53 [BWV97/ 177/ 9] [Masaaki Suzuki] [BIS: BIS1991]
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Product details

  • Conductor: Masaaki Suzuki
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (2 Sept. 2013)
  • Please Note: Requires SACD-compatible hardware
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD, SACD
  • Label: Bis
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 150,804 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan BWV100
  2. Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit BWV14
  3. Gott ist unsre Zuversicht BWV197
  4. Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe BWV197a (fragment)

Product Description

Product Description

As the penultimate volume in this acclaimed cycle it is a sobering thought that as many as a hundred of Bach's church cantatas may have been lost if it were not for the efforts of artists such as the BCJ and Masaaki Suzuki.

The fragment Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe, was apparently intended for Christmas Day of 1728. Bach reused parts of the work in the large-scale wedding cantata Gott ist unsre Zuversicht. This has made it possible to reconstruct the missing parts and allows for interesting comparisons between the two versions.

The other two works were both composed around 1735, and give rich evidence of Bach's versatility in terms of style.


'This is a superb disc, Suzuki at one with Bach - and both at their best.' --BBC Music Magazine, November 2013

'thoroughly recommended. The production values are high all round, and with a great team that has now lived with the cantatas for numerous productive years there's rarely a foot put wrong. So, that's 54 down, one to go.' --International Record Review, October 2013

'This fine little 'scena', from Bach's rich repository of slumber arias ['Schläfert' from No. 197] is set up by Masamitsu San'nomiya's engrossing oboe d'amore-playing and Suzuki's reined gaze upon God's Leitstern or 'guiding star'. This is another strong release as we approach the finishing line.' --Gramophone, October 2013

'The music is splendid, and luminously sung and played. And these pieces do not appear often.' --Early Music Review, December 2013

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Teemacs on 7 Sept. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Although in the end I opted to get the Gardiner series (cheaper!), I still reserve the right to treat myself to the occasional Suzuki, whom I also find excellent. And this latest offering is no exception. In this case, it was quite fortuitous - it has two items not covered by Gardiner, BWV197 (written for a wedding, so presumably omitted by Gardiner because it didn't fit into his Lutheran church year scheme of things) and 197a, which survives only as a fragment.

The main work is BWV100 "Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan", actually "Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan" III (Bach used the Lutheran hymn for three different cantatas). The comparison with Gardiner is interesting - Suzuki's opening and closing chorales are quite rumbustious, with prominent tympani and flaring trumpets, whereas Gardiner's is more measured, even subdued. Which is better? Both have their merits, and I'm happy to have both. The Suzuki set is let down slightly by the quality of the solo trumpet, which sounds somewhat insecure at times. But then, these things are hard to play and I'll bet even Gottfried Reiche had problems. The Bach Collegium and soloists are their usual excellent selves.

In sort, this is an excellent and highly recommendable production. I really must get set up for SACD, so that I can experience that aspect...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Nearing the Finish Line 29 Oct. 2013
By Johannes Climacus - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This is the penultimate volume in Suzuki's magesterial series of Bach cantata recordings. The final volume will contain three works--BWV 30, 69 and 191, all glorious. I can hardly wait. For now, we have this terrific volume to consider and enjoy. The three canonical Cantatas and one reconstructed work it presents make for a nicely contrasted program. BWV 100 is arguably the jolliest among Bach's works in the genre. It consists of a series of arias loosely based on a magnificent chorale tune; these are framed by a lavishly orchestrated chorale fantasia and a concluding harmonization of the hymn reinforced with winds, strings and continuo. BWV 14, on the other hand, is a sober, introspective work sporting an opening chorale fantasia that rivals *Die Kunst der Fuge* in its contrapuntal intricacy. BWV 197 is another one of those splendid wedding cantatas with lavish orchestration and expansive, well-developed arias. It begins with a stunning fugal chorus, crowned with festive trumpets, that resembles the equally magnificent opening of BWV 195. Thereafter the listener is astonished ever anew by the fecundity of Bach's creative resources; all the more remarkable, then, that these resources are brought to bear on a one-off wedding ceremony. The disc concludes with a reconstruction of BWV 197a, a sacred cantata based on the wedding cantata, but with significant alterations in orchestration and melodic detail.

A real feast for earnest Bachians, then, and I am pleased to report that the performances are fully equal to these demanding works. The choral singing, as with recent volumes in the series, sounds fuller, richer and riper than many of the earlier volumes in the series--yet with no diminution of clarity or focus. Indeed, I have never heard more intensely satisfying accounts of the very different opening choruses of BWV 100, 14 and 197. The latter approaches a grandeur that does full justice to Bach's sublime evocation of heavenly-earthly joy (Bach, a good Lutheran was never one to reinforce a sacred/secular dualism), in a way which we rarely encounter in "period" performances. The solo singing is splendid; once again, I must remark that Peter Kooij's ample voice sounds rejuvinated in these later volumes of Suzuki's catata series. Blazkikova remains the very model of a Bach soprano. Türk and Guillion are perhaps slightly less effective in their solos, but that may be just a subjective reaction on my part: I have always found Türk's voice a bit thin in tone (despite his solid musicianship), and I must confess to a preference for female altos over countertenors (though Guillon is thankfully not too hooty).

As always, the Bach-Collegium Japan covers itself in glory. The ensemble and solo playing are splendidly incisive and articulate, yet without slighting expression. Suzuki's pacing and shaping of the music are near-perfect.

Strongly recommended, then, along with Suzuki's entire cantata cycle, now nearing its completion. Listeners new to the Bach cantatas or to Suzuki's readings of them might well start with this volume and work backwards.
Five Stars 30 Oct. 2015
By Terry Roth - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Beautifully done, great sound.
Five Stars 4 July 2014
By Beth Szilagyi - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A great interpretation and flawless performance, the entire album was a delight.
MAGNIFICENT! 29 Oct. 2013
By Hannibal - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I can only second Climacus' detailed review, and add my own disappointment that this great series is coming to an end.

I would also like to stress the role that the SACD's recording engineers have played in creating the perfect ambiance in which to hear the instrumental as well as the vocal beauty of this and other Suzuki discs in the series. The singers are just HEAVENLY! Bach would surely approve.

For those who love the Bach cantatas, this is indispensable.
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