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Cantatas - Bach
 
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Cantatas - Bach

28 Nov. 2005 | Format: MP3

£19.29 (VAT included if applicable)
Buy the CD album for £15.04 and get the MP3 version for FREE. Does not apply to gift orders.
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Disc 2
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 25 Nov. 2005
  • Release Date: 28 Nov. 2005
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Mixed Repertoire
  • Copyright: (C) 1995 EMI Records Ltd
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:58:41
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001JFR1ZM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 514,843 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Joyce TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 Nov. 2013
Format: Audio CD
I have already posted this review elsewhere, but as this work has been reissued a number of times and in various formats, I thought that it might be useful to add it as appropriate. Others will, no doubt, have written authoritatively about the quality of the recording or the transfer, but I have confined myself largely to the merits of the performance.

With the release of the complete Bach cantatas by John Eliot Gardiner and Masaaki Suzuki, these recordings, made in 1957 (in Abbey Road) and 1967 (in the Stadthalle, Marbach) now seem something like museum pieces. It is certainly true that they are far from "authentic" performances, but they each have a great deal to offer, not least in terms of artistic sensitivity and singing.

The first disc shows its age more than the second; it features the cantata "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben" (BWV 147) and the motet "Jesu, meine Freude" (BMV 227), more familiarly known as "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring". Chorales were an important structural influence in Bach's work and they pervade the entire piece here. The cantata also concludes with a famous setting of this closing chorale.

The Geraint Jones Singers and Orchestra perform well under their conductor, but it would be foolish to pretend that this would be a first choice recording of this work. The solo singing is, however, something else. Thomas Hemsley's rather light baritone may be something of an acquired taste, but he is unfailingly musical in all he does and Helen Watts and Wilfred Brown are very fine indeed in their arias. The star of the show, however, is the young Joan Sutherland, whose performance of "Bereite dir, Jesu" is quite ravishing and is bereft of the idiosyncracies which marred some of her later recordings.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steve, Inverness on 12 Feb. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I had these cantatas on LPs many years ago and was so pleased to find them on cd.

Yes the sound quality is a little dated and the performances are not historically informed.
But the singers are absolutely wonderful, the playing is beautiful, and each cantata is performed so well in accordance with its character. Wachet auf is sensual but logical with such a clear structure to the opening section, Ein feste burg has such grandeur and energy.

You just gotta hear these performances....enjoy!
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2 of 12 people found the following review helpful By mark.dolahenty@nsw.nteu.org.au on 12 Dec. 2001
Format: Audio CD
my 4 star rating is really only for Sutherland's performance of the aria Bereite dich Zion. Her tone is luminous and effortless compared to others who have recorded the aria. The other performances of the cantata and magnificat are too much of their time to bear repeated listening these days.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Stuff 6 Feb. 2005
By Amatuer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I am a relative newcomer to Bach's cantatas, so this review might not carry much gravitas but anyone's free to contradict me. I thought this was an excellent recording of some of Bach's most loved and well known cantatas, and this double-disc offers excellent value for money. Cantata 147 was superb, and thankfully was not sung in English as I have heard before but in German obviously as it should be -I go crazy hearing "Jesu Joy of Man's Desire" in english the German sounds so much better and this version is a case in point, with a really vibrant orchestral accompaniment instead of a laboured organ which I have heard before. This chorus is so good, Bach included it twice in BWV 147 and it really is a joy.

The second cantata on the first disc is BWV 227, the motet "Jesu meine Freude". I knew nothing of this beforehand and was delighted to find out that it contains all choruses and corales with no recititatives which I find to be a bit boring (queue sound of purists turning in their graves).The choir here is uniformly excellent

The second disc begins with BWV 140 "Wachet Auf, ruft uns die Stimme". I have a particular love and interest for this cantata having sung it recently and this is how it's meant to be sung- the South German Madrigal Choir's execution is far better than our unbalanced amatuer one! The tricky "Wachet Auf" chorus is handled effortlessly and perfectly with the "alleluia" bit toward the end absolutley superb. The two soprano/bass duets are also brillaint but the undoubted highlight of this cantata comes with the final corale "Gloria sie dir gesungen". This contains such joy and sheer beauty it must be heard to be believed. Translated, one of the lines reads "With men's and angel's tongues" and this sounds like choirs of angels. The finale with the sopranos hitting strong soaring high notes is hairs on the back of the neck stuff.

I know nothing about BWV 80 but to this amatuer it sounded excellent with the opening chorus a joy, punctuated with triumphant french horn throughout.The cantata is routinely excellent throughout.

I would definitely reccomend this cd to classical lovers in general and to Bach lovers in particular
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
beautiful Bach 18 Aug. 2005
By LuelCanyon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
These somewhat older recordings of three of Bach's greatest cantatas deliver superb music making! Cantata 147 features memorably articulate, vibrant and focused singing by a young Joan Sutherland; the performance of the famous chorale, though taken perhaps a tad slow, richly serves the incumbent spirituality of Bach's music. Better the understatement found here than the racing tempi that ruin at least four other major versions I have. Gardner's tempi are acceptable, but the playing is not as focused as it is under these conductors. The orchestras here are pliant and attentive, partnering splendid singing with a devoted sense of intimacy. Altmeyer, Baker & Ameling are especially fine soloists in the other two cantatas. I've heard many performances of Bach's cantatas and consider these among the very best recorded versions. With so many recordings of the cantatas available, one would think there should be many musically fine editions from which to choose and be content, but memorable performances are rare enough indeed. Music making of this kind quashes an already notoriously thin controversy with respect to period instruments and style. This is music verily from the inside out, nothing less. It's a delight to experience from beginning to end. A separate chorale version of 'Jesu, meine Freude' (with slightly altered melodic cadence) is an unexpected additional treat. Don't hesitate, for Bach's sake!
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I wept 11 Jan. 2006
By Brian Mustain - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Although I bought this CD for the Cantata 140, the entire CD has been a powerful source of pleasure and joy. The chorale prelude version of Cantata 140 was used as the bridesmaids' music at our wedding, and our best man sang the "Zion hoert" movement--so I already had a sentimental attachment to the music. But I'd heard it off and on for several decades before purchasing this CD. And my initial (as well as current) feeling was that 140 on these discs was almost obscenely too slow. And yet, on at least two occasions, I sat in traffic while tears filled my eyes as I listened to it. It's a magical performance, even if it is too slow.

And the other cantatas (there are two sets of performers on the discs) are nearly as inspired. I especially like the "Ein Feste Burg," one of whose sort of Vivaldi-esque movement is so thrilling that, in spite of my moral objections to such practices (if you've read C. S. Lewis's "Perelandra," you'll know what I'm referring to), I've been known to play over and over and over again.

I have bought this disc for several of my grown children. I recommend it without reserve.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Still wonderful after all these years 21 Nov. 2012
By Thomas Martin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I purchased the Gonnenwien recordings of cantatas 140 and 80, years ago on an Seraphim LP. It was my introduction to the Bach cantatas and I was thrilled. Now after hearing these same performances remastered for CD, the thrill is still there. The clarity of the recording and glorious singing remind us of a period now gone by, but are still very valid and, frankly, just sound right(however unHIPster that comment may be)! The Jones performances recorded a decade earlier are a wonderful bonus for this listener. Highly recommended.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Three choral cantatas in historical recordings 8 Feb. 2013
By Anton Zimmerling - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I am adding my voice to the five-star reviews above.

The same compilation of J.S.Bach's cantatas BWV 80, 140, 147 and the motet BWV 227 is available in a different package as Bach: Cantatas BWV 80, 140, 147; Jesu, meine Freude. If I not mistaken, the older `Double forte' 2-CD series (see this 2-CD set) corresponds to the new `Gemini' 2-CD package.

The two recordings of BWV 140 and BWV 80 made by Wolfgang Gönnenwein in 1967 and included here, belong to the very best ones in the discography of these works. The conducting is firm without sounding pedestrian. As most conductors, Gönnenwein uses in BWV 80 the orchestration with three trumpets and timpani, likely added by J.S. Bach's son, Wilhelm Friedemann. It works here: the trumpets add the aggression in the noisy and militant first chorus of BWV 80 and are not felt as a pure decoration. The vocalists in BWV 80, 140 are excellent. The most famous of them are Janet Baker and Elly Ameling, but I would specially praise the bass Hans Sotin (unfortunately, his name does not appear on the front cover and in the amazon tags to this item): so well-trained deep voices are seldom heard in Bach's cantatas.

The recording of BWV 147 made by Geraint Jones (more remembered as an organist than as a conductor) in 1957, is not in the same league, but here you get Joan Sutherland in the soprano aria `Bereite dich, Zion'. Although this is not idiomatic Bach singing - many modern purists (not me) would blame Sutherland's vibrato and prefer more thin, boyish sounding voices, it is beautiful. The alto (Helen Watts) and tenor soloists are really good. The baritone Thomas Hemsley has intonation problems.
All three cantatas are based on famous Lutheran chorals, `Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott' (BWV 80), "Sleepers, awake" (BWV 140) and "Jesu, Joy of Man's desiring" (BWV 147).

The filler in this compilation is Gönnenwein's recording of J.S.Bach's motet BWV 227.

The same Gönnenwein's recordings of BWV 140 and BWV 80 are also available in a different package, cf. Bach: Cantatas BWV 80, 140, 147; Jesu, meine Freude and Les Grandes Cantates. BWV 140 has also been reissued in a combination with BWV 106 and 78 (all with Gönnenwein)on EMI 25 21282. But unless you specially interested in Gönnenwein's performances of BWV 78 and 106, cf. J.s. Bach - Two Cantatas Bwv 78 Bwv 106 Wolfgang Gonnenwein Consortium Musicum, buy the reviewed item or its 'Gemini' replica.
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