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It's a church cantata not a Beethoven symphony!
on 7 June 2011
The Cantata 147 is a perfect piece of music written by a master composer for performance in the church of St. Thomas in Leipzig. The instrumental and vocal invention, both in terms of colour and melody, is quite astonishing (it would have been completed within 1 week if my music history is correct). Gardiner thinks he can improve on this by an unyielding dynamic overload more suited to the Classical period (Mozart, Beethoven, etc.). This intrusive and, in my view, incorrect approach renders the work irritable to listen to (which is the opposite to what it should be). As far as I am aware, dynamics in the Baroque period (Vivaldi, Bach, etc.) were restricted to soft and loud (over a short or lengthy passage). There is no deference to this here.