Perhaps it's the thought that there are only two more releases in the Gardiner cantata series (both due out this year, the tenth anniversary of the pilgrimage) that made me indulge in some Suzukis. This one was a must, as it contains one of the truly greats, BWV80 "Ein feste Burg", based on Martin Luther's great hymn. Here it gets a rousing performance. The great opening choral fantasia that starts it off doesn't have the same bite as Gardiner (who uses a bass sackbut to get an extra big rasp), but it's level pegging the rest of the way. BWV5 "Wo soll ich fliehen hin" has a dazzling bass aria "Verstumme, Höllenheer" (more or less, "Shut up, Nick!") with a brilliant obbligato trumpet and a marvellous dancing bass line. The best version is the old Rilling one - Rilling really makes it dance like nobody else does, not even Gardiner, and of course the cruelly difficult trumpet part played on a baroque-type trumpet simply can't match the security of Rilling's modern piccolo instrument. Nevertheless, this is being picky - Suzuki does it all rather well. A nice version of BWV115 rounds it all off nicely.
We are so very lucky to have such masters as Gardiner and Suzuki record this neglected music for us.