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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An early Gardiner recording that grew on me, 11 July 2012
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J. Waite - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bach: Cantatas, BWV140 & 147 (Audio CD)
Knowing and highly valuing Gardiner's B Minor Mass, initially I found this disappointing. The sound seems undernourished and occasionally hasty, unlike the wonderful sense of rhythmic drive on the Mass, and the sopranos (boys?) in the opening chorus to my ear sounded shrill and even unpleasant. Likewise although I appreciate her purity the soprano soloist sets my teeth on edge! But, as I've listened to it several times I've begun to appreciate some very beautiful passages, not least the concluding two choruses of the two parts of the second cantata, which flow with the usual Gardiner vitality. So I think it just deserves 4 stars (if you can cope with the soprano!), but it doesn't match the Mass or Gardiner's superlative Beethoven/Mendelssohn violin concertos where his control of a unified vision seems to me beyond criticism.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cantatas BWV 140 and BWV 147, 22 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Bach: Cantatas, BWV140 & 147 (Audio CD)
A selection of two of J. S. Bach's copious output of church cantatas, Wach auf (Awake) and Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben (Heart and mouth and deed and life). According to the comprehensive CD notes, 140 was written for the 27th Sunday after Trinity, and because Easter fell early that year, an extra cantata was required. What a brilliant piece of work for an 'extra' - composers of the time were fascinated by chord progressions, this is superbly illustrated by the jaunty opening of 140. It's all really uplifting music, the playing is precise with a good pulse, the choristers and soloists mostly excellent. Authentic period instruments were used, including violino piccolo, violoncello, oboe de caccia, and harpsichord. Pitch is A' = 415Hz. All this accounts for a slightly mellow, dulcet quality to the instrumental music, presumably as it would have been heard at the time of composition. Digital sound quality is excellent and the booklet includes full text and English translation. Soloists are Ruth Holton (soprano), Michael Chance (counter-tenor), Anthony Rolfe Johnson (tenor) and Stephen Varcoe (bass). For what it's worth I found 140 slightly more enjoyable although 147 has the more famous tune. There's something elegant and civilised about this type of music.
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Bach: Cantatas, BWV140 & 147
Bach: Cantatas, BWV140 & 147 by Johann Sebastian Bach (Audio CD - 1992)
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