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Bach, J.S.: Cantatas, Vol. 8 - Bwv 8, 27, 51, 95, 99, 100, 138, 161

Bach, J.S.: Cantatas, Vol. 8 - Bwv 8, 27, 51, 95, 99, 100, 138, 161

1 Jan 2000
4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Disc 2
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17
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18
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19
4:53
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0:51
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25
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Jan. 2000
  • Release Date: 1 Sept. 2010
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: SDG
  • Copyright: ℗© 2000 SDG
  • Total Length: 2:24:37
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B0040DPY7M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 354,581 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)
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By DAVID BRYSON TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Dec. 2008
Format: Audio CD
This issue looks likely to be one of the very best in this great series. For newcomers, Gardiner and his colleagues devoted the year 2000, which was the 250th anniversary of Bach's death, to a `pilgrimage', mainly in Europe but finishing in New York, in which they performed all the master's surviving cantatas on the liturgical dates for which he had composed them. For newcomers again, this set would be as good a place to start becoming familiar with the series as I have so far encountered in the 13 issues I have collected. All the works here find Bach at his most approachable, and one in particular, Jauchzet Gott BWV 51, is rather a famous one, and it's not hard to appreciate why. For some reason the last addition to my collection, numbered 3 in their inscrutable numbering system, was not the best. However 13 has turned out to be quite the opposite of an unlucky number for me.

In other respects the processes by which numbers have been allocated defeat my understanding. In the first place the BWV numeration of the cantatas is unrelated to their sequence of composition. BWV 99 dates from 11 years earlier than BWV 100, which is to the same basic text, to take an obvious case. The series number allocated by the editors to each set is completely at variance with the date of each performance and also, so far as I can see, with the order in which the sets have been released to the public. As a bonus here, Gardiner in his introductory essay seems to speak of BWV 99 and 100 as being the first and third of Bach's settings of the text in question, whereas when we come to the actual texts we find them referred to as `II' and `III'. Which is the one that is actually missing, and where has it got to anyway?
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By Jon Chambers VINE VOICE on 11 April 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
There are two excellent reasons to buy this CD - BWV99 and BWV8. If this doesn't sound very convincing, it may help to mention that the wonderfully melodious and up-beat opening to Walton's suite The Wise Virgins is based on the opening Choral of BWV99 (for 'based on', read lifted from). What's more, JSB himself was so taken by this one that he used it to open BWV100 (same text, trumpets and drums added, and included on CD1). No 99 in particular is full of delights, not just the first movement. Like the slinky chromaticism of the flute in the third number and the fifth number, for bass.

With its lyrical charm, the opening to BWV8 is of transcendent beauty. For me, it provides perhaps the most gorgeous Bach cantata moments of all (all of those I've heard, anyway) surpassing even BWV82. It shows Bach as a superb melodist, not just an exemplary formalist and technician. Ideas - of consistently high quality - come thick and fast, as in the Brandenburg Concertos or the Magnificat, for instance. The only false notes seem to appear in the third number of BWV27 which, with musical quotations from Vivaldi's Four Seasons and Bach's own BWV147 cantata, sounds something like Baroque pastiche.

This Pilgrimage recording of BWV8 is strikingly different from, say, Rifkin's version (L'Oiseau-Lyre). Whereas Rifkin uses a solo quartet of voices for the opening movement, Gardiner opts for a choral approach. Both are deeply satisfying. Another reviewer has mentioned the 'wet' sound quality of the recording, and wonders if another microphone, positioned closer, might have improved resolution. It is in BWV8 that this criticism seems most valid - the bass does seem rather distant and lacking definition. Overall, however, sound quality is fine, to my ears, at least.
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By A Customer on 3 May 2005
Format: Audio CD
I don't know how to praise this CD well enough! I've been a fan of Gardiner's recordings since buying his seminal version of The St. Matthew's - and he continues to bring his crisp dramatic style [which I adore] to another set of amazing Bach cantatas. I'm not sure whether to praise the music of Bach or the interpretation of Gardiner most, as both must contribute hugely to the amazing quality on display here!
What fantastic music, especially note the wonderful harmonies on display in the opening chorus of 'Wer weib, wie nahe mein Ende' along with Mark Padmore's amazingly powerful and heartbreaking solo, and can someone please tell me how the alto's pitch their note on the voice by voice entry in the opening chorus of 'Christus, der ist mein Leben' In addition the off beat oboe d'amour that comes in so shockingly, and beautifully, in the 3rd movement of the same cantata, paralyzed me with joy!!
Buy this, and bask in the glow of two geniuses. You'll catch something new every time!
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