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Bach: Cantatas Vol.12 (Cantatas For 22/ 23 Sunday After Trinity) Double CD

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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.12 (Cantatas For 22/ 23 Sunday After Trinity)
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  • Bach Cantatas: Vol 11 [Cantatas For The 20th/ 21St Sunday After Trinity]
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  • Bach - Cantatas, Vol 25
Total price: £54.46
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Product details

  • Orchestra: English Baroque Soloists
  • Conductor: John Eliot Gardiner
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (27 Sept. 2010)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Double CD
  • Label: Sdg
  • ASIN: B0040VSQHE
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 124,860 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Ich armer Mensch, ich Sündenknecht BWV 55
2. Was soll ich aus dir machen, Ephraim? BWV 89
3. Mache dich, mein Geist, bereit BWV 115
4. O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort II BWV 60
Disc: 2
1. Wohl dem, der sich auf seinen Gott BWV 139
2. Nur jedem das Seine! BWV 163
3. Falsche Welt, dir trau ich nicht! BWV 52
4. Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme BWV 140

Product Description

Review

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. BWV 115 grips us both with the exuberant rigour of its opening, and with a sublime ensemble of piccolo cello, flute and soprano.A tremendous achievement for the ensemble, and for the fledgling company Soli Dei Gloria. --The Observer

Masterly throughout. Performance ***** Recording **** --BBC Music Magazine,Christmas'10

Masterly throughout. Performance ***** Recording **** --BBC Music Magazine,Christmas'10

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Antony F. Ornstin on 25 Oct. 2010
Format: Audio CD
I have been collecting more or less the entire Suzuki series, mostly for cost reasons, but have also been collecting some of the John Eliot Gardiner "pilgrimage" albums, including this one. This is because, in general, there are some occasions when Suzuki doesn't quite hit the mark and Gardiner definitely does. It wotks the other way too. I also own a CD of Bach arias performed by Bostridge and Biondi, which cover one of the cantatas on this album (no. 55) and also an aria from another cantata on this album (No 139)

On the whole I found these performances both impressive and enjoyable. For me the critical tests for performances of Bach cantatas are whether the performance conveys the true stature of the music, and also whether it engages me emotionally. For by far the most part I think the performances convincingly pass these tests.

I want to mention a few aspects,both positive and negative that particularly struck me-first the positive (1)-(3):

(1) I thought that the overall standard of the solo singing was good. The soloist who stood out most for me me was the baritone Peter Harvey, who has quite a lot to do here. His singing was usually both beautiful and affecting. His lower register isn't very strong, but this mostly didn't seem to matter.

(2) I preferred James Gilchrist/Gardiner's performance of cantata no. 55 to Bostridge/Biondi's. This is largely for reasons unconnected with the singing- in the former performance the tempo of the first aria is too quick and not suited to the character of the music. Also I think the obbligato in the second aria is more affecting when performed with a flute (as under Gardiner) rather than with a violin (Biondi), despite the variable intonation of a baroque flute.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Teemacs TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 6 Oct. 2010
Format: Audio CD
...BWV140 "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme". My very favourite cantata. Nothing spectacular, but a perfectly-formed gem of a cantata. This is a gorgeous version, one of the best I've ever heard, with nicely sprung rhythms and nice pacing of the individual parts, rounding off with a perfectly realised final unison chorale. Very happy with it. Worth the price of the CD alone.

However, there are other good things on the CD. The others were not so well known to me, but they were another part of the enjoyable voyage of discovery that the cantatas have been. At one point, I thought I'd wandered into the wrong CD - out came what was unmistakably a version of the opening movement of Brandenburg Concerto No.1, complete with its braying horns. Such is the sinfonia that opens BWV52.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By DAVID BRYSON TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Mar. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This 2-disc set contains the cantatas for the 22nd and 23rd Sundays after Trinity, and this review constitutes my 24th in the series, leaving three more to go. The great and visionary `pilgrimage' that Gardiner and his associates undertook in the year 2000 had them performing all Bach's extant cantatas on the liturgical dates for which he had created them, or as near as might be. Easter was late in 2000, there was no 27th Sunday after Trinity and a cantata for that occasion has therefore been added to the second disc here. This cantata is none other than the great Wachet auf (`Sleepers awake'), no. 140, so this particular issue comes to a particularly splendiferous conclusion.

For anyone joining the train at this station, the year 2000 was not just the so-called millennium year (there was no year zero, 1 BC was immediately followed by 1 AD and the millennium year is therefore 2001), it was also the 250th anniversary of Bach's death, aged 65. Behind the marvellous music-making there must have been hardly less marvellous planning, management and leadership on Gardiner's part. We know because various participants tell us that very often they were learning the piece they were to perform the next Sunday from scratch during the previous week, and to top that they were travelling around Europe, and even as far as America towards the end, between their weekly concerts. I now own 25 out of the 27 sets, and I can report with complete candour that I detect no sense of fatigue or loss of motivation at any point.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
...the other one you've all been waiting for... 26 Oct. 2010
By Teemacs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
...BWV140 "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme". My very favourite cantata. Nothing spectacular, but a perfectly-formed gem of a cantata. This is a gorgeous version, one of the best I've ever heard, with nicely sprung rhythms and nice pacing of the individual parts, rounding off with a perfectly realised final unison chorale. Very happy with it. Worth the price of the CD alone.

However, there are other good things on the CD. The others were not so well known to me, but they were another part of the enjoyable voyage of discovery that the cantatas have been. At one point, I thought I'd wandered into the wrong CD - out came what was unmistakably a version of the opening movement of Brandenburg Concerto No.1, complete with its braying horns. Such is the sinfonia that opens BWV52.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
YET MORE WONDERFUL BACH 2 Nov. 2010
By GEORGE RANNIE - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
In what I believe is the twenty-sixth (26th) release of John Eliot Gardiner's complete recordings of Johann Sebastian Bach's complete known scared cantatas, this Volume twelve (12) finds Gardner and his forces (The Monteverdi Choir, The English Baroque Soloists, plus individual soloists) to be, per usual, in splendid form performing dear ole JS wonderfully.

The Cantatas on the first disc of this two disc set of Volume 12 were written for the twenty-second Sunday after Trinity. I found these four (4) Cantatas on this disc to be rather plaintive sounding but lovely. Just listen to the lovely solo for soprano on tract fifteen (15) of disc one (1). The soloist, Joanne Lunn sings this aria just beautifully. Once again I am very impressed with Tenor, James Gilchrist who does some outstanding singing on the first disc. Listen to him sing the tenor solo cantata "Ich armer Mensch , ich Sundenknecht, BMV 55--truly lovely. In fact, all of the soloist and Gardiner acquit themselves marvelously on this disc one (1).

With a different set of soloist, the Cantatas on the second disc were written for the twenty-third (23rd) Sunday after Trinity. To me, this set of Cantatas sound more hopeful. This set of works contains the familiar Cantata "Wachet auf, BMV 140. It is indeed wonderful. Just listen to the "jazzy" duet for soprano and bass on tract twenty-one (21). On this disc too all are in fine form delivering Bach's music gloriously.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
22nd, 23rd and 24th 15 Mar. 2012
By DAVID BRYSON - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This 2-disc set contains the cantatas for the 22nd and 23rd Sundays after Trinity, and this review constitutes my 24th in the series, leaving three more to go. The great and visionary `pilgrimage' that Gardiner and his associates undertook in the year 2000 had them performing all Bach's extant cantatas on the liturgical dates for which he had created them, or as near as might be. Easter was late in 2000, there was no 27th Sunday after Trinity and a cantata for that occasion has therefore been added to the second disc here. This cantata is none other than the great Wachet auf (`Sleepers awake'), no. 140, so this particular issue comes to a particularly splendiferous conclusion.

For anyone joining the train at this station, the year 2000 was not just the so-called millennium year (there was no year zero, 1 BC was immediately followed by 1 AD and the millennium year is therefore 2001), it was also the 250th anniversary of Bach's death, aged 65. Behind the marvellous music-making there must have been hardly less marvellous planning, management and leadership on Gardiner's part. We know because various participants tell us that very often they were learning the piece they were to perform the next Sunday from scratch during the previous week, and to top that they were travelling around Europe, and even as far as America towards the end, between their weekly concerts. I now own 25 out of the 27 sets, and I can report with complete candour that I detect no sense of fatigue or loss of motivation at any point. Credit of course goes to the various performers (and the technical recording staff who seem totally unfazed by the constant changes of acoustic), Bach himself inscribed `SDG' (= soli Deo gloria, glory to God alone) on each masterpiece, but the rest of us will surely award a lot of that to Bach himself.

The recording venues were respectively All Saints Tooting and Winchester Cathedral. If Tooting is thought by anyone to lack stateliness, the reason for recording there was simply that the majestic acoustics of Eton Chapel, where the performance had actually taken place, were at the mercy of the flight-path to Heathrow airport, and the ensemble recreated the sense of a live performance by means of long recording takes. In any case, what's wrong with Tooting? Chaucer's more famous pilgrimage went to Southwark, after all. We can read all about it from the `blog' contributed by Gardiner himself in the usual way.

Also as normally, there is a shorter contribution from one of the performers, this time the viola player Annette Isserlis. This short essay seems to me exceptionally interesting, because in addition to the standard gasps of admiration there are thought-provoking comments on the role of the instrumentalists generally. I shall quote Mme Isserlis verbatim `As instrumentalists we are therefore embedded in the substance of each cantata, as portrayers and symbolists as well as accompanists'. Myself, I would almost go further. In Bach it is instruments, and not really the voices, that take the lead. Bach was an `absolute' musician, and it seems to me that his infinite musical faculty found its natural outlet through the wordless medium of instruments. He did not, I venture to think, react to texts as Handel did, or as Schubert did, the texts simply served as the occasions for music. In any case the religious fervour and conviction that breathes through everything Bach ever composed was something that possessed his entire mind and soul. Much of the pietistic verse he set was thin poor stuff, but set against music like this who cares what it amounts to?

It is very rarely indeed that I have expressed any real reservations about the quality of what I have been privileged to listen to, and I have no reason or wish to do so here. The singers seem to combine the insight of veterans with the freshness of newcomers, and the all-important instrumental parts are superbly done on their period instruments. It is surely superfluous to utter platitudes about the stylistic insight and command shown by such a director and such executants. I ended, as the set itself ends, in dulci jubilo, even if I might qualify (hopefully without impiety) the usual SDG.
Another wonderful volume 15 Mar. 2012
By G. P. Miller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As the other reviewers have indicated, the music is breathtaking. The engineers have also done a fine job in capturing the performances and mastering the CDs. At this point, I have eight of the series and they are all of the highest level. The packaging is also elegant, book-like, far surpassing the usual jewel case. In addition, being able to download the CD booklets for each volume is a very nice feature. I have but one criticism.

As one other reviewer has noted, the cover photos for this series seem arbitrary and out of sync with the musical material. The photographs rendered in a painterly fashion are beautiful, but have no relationship to the content. It strikes me as another foolish nod to multiculturalism. All of the individuals look to be either African or Asian, none appear to be from the West - as usual the 'diversity' agents leave that part out. I think equally graceful covers - perhaps fine close-ups of people in period costumes - something reflecting the musical content and the milieu out of which it arose would have been possible and preferable.
Five Stars 19 Oct. 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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