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J.S.Bach: Cantatas - Recreation for the Soul [Hybrid SACD, SACD]

Magdalena Consort , Elin Manahan Thomas , Daniel Taylor , James Gilchrist , J.S.Bach , et al. Audio CD

Price: £14.65 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Jesu, der du meine Seele, BWV 78: Coro, "Jesu, der du meine Seele"Daniel Taylor, Elin Manahan Thomas, Jamer Gilchrist, Peter Harvey 5:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Jesu, der du meine Seele, BWV 78: Aria, Duetto, "Wir eilen mit schwachen, doch emsigen Schritten"Daniel Taylor, Elin Manahan Thomas, Peter Harvey 4:37£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Jesu, der du meine Seele, BWV 78: Recitativo, "Ach! Ich bin ein Kind der Sünden"James Gilchrist, Peter Harvey 2:02£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Jesu, der du meine Seele, BWV 78: Aria, "Das Blut, so meine Schuld durchstreicht"James Gilchrist, Peter Harvey 2:50£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Jesu, der du meine Seele, BWV 78: Recitativo, "Die Wunden, Nägel, Kron und Grab"Peter Harvey 2:22£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Jesu, der du meine Seele, BWV 78: Aria, "Nun du wirst mein Gewissen stillen"Peter Harvey 2:41£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Jesu, der du meine Seele, BWV 78: Choral, "Herr, ich glaube, hilf mir Schwachen"Daniel Taylor, Elin Manahan Thomas, James Gilchrist, Peter Harvey 1:05£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, BWV 150: "Sinfonia"Peter Harvey 1:24£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, BWV 150: Coro, "Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich"Daniel Taylor, Elin Manahan Thomas, James Gilchrist, Peter Harvey 3:09£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, BWV 150: Aria, "Doch bin und bleibe ich vergnügt"Elin Manahan Thomas, Peter Harvey 1:18£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, BWV 150: Tutti, "Leite mich in deiner Wahrheit und lehre mich"Daniel Taylor, Elin Manahan Thomas, James Gilchrist, Peter Harvey 1:52£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, BWV 150: Aria, "Cedern müssen von den Winden"Daniel Taylor, James Gilchrist, Peter Harvey 1:23£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, BWV 150: Coro, "Meine Augen sehen stets zu dem Herrn"Daniel Taylor, Elin Manahan Thomas, James Gilchrist, Peter Harvey 1:57£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, BWV 150: Ciaccona, "Meine Tage in den Leiden"Daniel Taylor, Elin Manahan Thomas, James Gilchrist, Peter Harvey 3:01£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147: Chorus, "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben"Daniel Taylor, Elin Manahan Thomas, James Gilchrist, Peter Harvey 3:37£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147: Recitativo accompagnato, "Gebenedeiter Mund!"James Gilchrist, Peter Harvey 1:38£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147: Aria, "Schäme dich, o Seele, nicht"Daniel Taylor, Peter Harvey 3:57£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen18. Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147: Recitativo, "Verstockung kann Gewaltige verblenden"Peter Harvey 1:31£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen19. Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147: Aria, "Bereite dir, Jesu, noch itzo die Bahn"Elin Manahan Thomas, Peter Harvey 4:47£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen20. Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147: Choral, "Wohl mir, daß ich Jesum habe"Daniel Taylor, Elin Manahan Thomas, James Gilchrist, Peter Harvey 2:47£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen21. Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147: Aria, "Hilf, Jesu, hilf, daß ich auch dich bekenne"James Gilchrist, Peter Harvey 2:57£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen22. Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147: Recitativo, "Der höchsten Allmacht Wunderhand"Daniel Taylor, Peter Harvey 2:04£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen23. Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147: Aria, "Ich will von Jesu Wundern singen"Peter Harvey 2:26£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen24. Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147: Choral, "Jesu bleibet meine Freude"Daniel Taylor, Elin Manahan Thomas, James Gilchrist, Peter Harvey 2:25£0.99  Buy MP3 


Product Description

Product Description

Bach's ambition to compose a body of 'well-regulated church music' liturgical music for the entire church calendar produced a wealth of sacred cantatas. Around two hundred have survived, and are an eloquent expression of his opinion that 'true music should be for the honour of God and the recreation of the soul'. That comment made with respect to the art of realising a figured-bass (where harmony is indicated by numbers) seems appropriate to this collection, since the choice of these glorious works was influenced by a consideration of number symbolism and other extramusical devices. That this most cerebral music touches the emotions so keenly might seem a paradox, but as a performer, analysing the possible thinking behind Bach's musical decisions brings the composer closer. (Peter Harvey, liner notes)

The Magdalena Consort was founded in 2008 by Peter Harvey and is acclaimed for its virtuoso chamber performances of sacred vocal music from Monteverdi to Bach. In addition to using period instruments, the group aims to perform with historically appropriate numbers of players and singers, which encourages the chamber-music approach which is central to its vivid sound. Joshua Rifkin was the first to argue that Bach commonly performed his vocal works with one singer per part, rather than employ a 'choir' in the traditional sense, and it is this approach that the Magdalena Consort adopts. It is fair to say that there is still a healthy debate surrounding the question, but, from a performer's perspective, this approach facilitates communication between the performers so that the counterpoint the independence of individual musical lines which so strongly characterises Bach's music can be enjoyed with the maximum freedom. The singers associated with the Magdalena Consort are well established as international soloists, besides having considerable experience of ensemble singing, and the instrumentalists are drawn from some of the world's best-known period instrument orchestras and chamber groups.

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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3.0 out of 5 stars Good sonics, but dubious intonation and variable performance 21 Sep 2014
By Colin Rose - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Channel Classic are highly regarded for the technical quality of their recordings. This is no exception -- recorded in high resolution pure DSD with the superb Grimm D/A converters. As usual for Channel, their recordings are elegant, clean and crisp. And clarity with Bach - especially in the pursuit of the representation of parts -- is vital.

Channel and Harvey have had previous successful releases such as the excellent `Death and Devotion' Baroque SACD. And given such stalwarts of Bach cantata performance as Peter Harvey and James Gilchrist, this had all the makings of a stunner.

Unfortunately, though, I did not find this performance rewarding. Quite the opposite, I have several concerns.
First and foremost, soprano Elin Manahan Thomas has an unnerving tendency to be flat, with general intonation variability that is frankly irritating to the extreme. Her style ... which also tends towards legato ... does not always fit with the other performers, nor the character of the works ... especially in the dance-like movements which are often better-suited to a more punctuated style. I also have concern as to her extensive use of vibrato which appears overtly overdone (at least for my taste) for the genre, and inconsistent with the other performers' rendition. This is especially noticeable in the tuttis (due to the one-voice-per-part rendition).

Peter Harvey is both bass and conductor. Like trying to drive and use a mobile phone at the same time, most people typically perform worse multitasking than compared to singular devotion. In particular, his own singing is noticeably sometimes out of step with the Magdalena Consort. Sometimes, as say Track 15 or 17 ... the performance has an almost perfunctory feel. Parts do not seem to have continuity - or purpose. Vocals lines sometimes `drop out'.

There is, of course, an amazing richness of competition in the world of Bach cantata recordings. My own preferences tend towards the Gardiner edition (albeit variable, partly due to live performances), Herreweghe's recordings (especially those available in hi-res SACD), Konrad Junghanel (superb SACDs - one voice per part), the Kuijken series (one voice per part, also on SACD - also variable, but the best of them are outstanding). The performances on this Channel Classics/Harvey release adopt the one-voice-per-part approach that also serves to bring out clarity of paths, but do not seem to achieve the same intimacy of character as attained by Kuijken.

Alas, not a keeper.
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