Bach: Motets Hybrid SACD, SACD
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''The performance is, as you'd expect [is] excellent. Voices range from delicate soloists to a splendidly light and transparent 18-strong chorus. The recording makes its distinctive mark among many competitiors. I enjoyed it hugely.'' --BBC Music Choral & Song Choice June 2010
The performances are splendid.After its solemn beginning,Komm,Jesu,Komm is light,almost flirtatious in places;and the staccato of Ich starke dich in Furchte dich nicht is equally appealing. In Jesu,meine Freude,Suzuki finds a perfect balance between drama and lyricism,and singet dem herrn is full of rhythmic vitality. Recommended with all possible enthusiasm. --The Gramophone,July 2010
''Overall, Suzuki's devotion to contraputal clarity is effortlessly executed by his 18 singers, who keep things simple and never over-inflect the music. Though often taken at a fair lick, the performances are never driven: what we get is balance, poise and gravitas. This beautifully judged recording of the motets - all of them - is one of the most persuasive available. Strongly recommended. --International Record Review
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And Bach Collegium Japan nails it. With smallish forces (probably no more than two to a part), the lines are clear and intimate -- none of that big choral fuzziness. The recording was made in a location with little reverberation, which contributes to the clarity. The group is balanced, tight, and in tune.
The interpretation is lively and passionate in exactly the "late baroque" sense of those words. This is no academic recording of a museum artifact. This feels like a fresh performance of living and breathing music. Over the past 15 years, Bach Collegium Japan and Massako Suzuki have recorded 45 albums of Bach's cantatas and all of the other major sacred works (Mass in B Minor, the two passions, the oratorios, etc.). At this point, Bach is in their marrow. You really fell that internalization in this recording.
I have recordings of the Motets by RAIS-Kammerchor/Rene Jacobs, La Chappelle Royale/Philippe Herreweghe, The Sixteen/Harry Christophers, Nederlands Kamerkoor/Peter Dijkstra, and the Hilliard Ensemble. While all are very fine, this is the one to get.
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