on 7 September 2013
Although in the end I opted to get the Gardiner series (cheaper!), I still reserve the right to treat myself to the occasional Suzuki, whom I also find excellent. And this latest offering is no exception. In this case, it was quite fortuitous - it has two items not covered by Gardiner, BWV197 (written for a wedding, so presumably omitted by Gardiner because it didn't fit into his Lutheran church year scheme of things) and 197a, which survives only as a fragment.
The main work is BWV100 "Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan", actually "Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan" III (Bach used the Lutheran hymn for three different cantatas). The comparison with Gardiner is interesting - Suzuki's opening and closing chorales are quite rumbustious, with prominent tympani and flaring trumpets, whereas Gardiner's is more measured, even subdued. Which is better? Both have their merits, and I'm happy to have both. The Suzuki set is let down slightly by the quality of the solo trumpet, which sounds somewhat insecure at times. But then, these things are hard to play and I'll bet even Gottfried Reiche had problems. The Bach Collegium and soloists are their usual excellent selves.
In sort, this is an excellent and highly recommendable production. I really must get set up for SACD, so that I can experience that aspect...