This remarkable interpretation of two of Bach's Cantatas ,(he wrote hundreds) and an other orchestral choral work the Magnificat shows how the composer set the cornerstone for many composers of orchestral choral sacred works later with a polyphonic mastery that here has an extraordinarily resonant context in the Melk monastery. The Arnold Schoenberg Choir perform brilliantly as do the Concentus Musicus Wien orchestra and the soloists deliver assured high quality. Notable too, the organ work particularly in Cantata BMV147 with emphases and tempi, if not content, comparable to that performed in the B Minor Mass dvd at the Thomaskirche. Frankly, the works are flawless. The Magnificat which Bach wrote at the time of his Cantor appointment at the Thomaskirche, Leipzig ,in honour of The Blessed Mary ,is the pinnacle of the dvd with all the usual diversity of tempi ,tone, melody and harmony which was his trademark. I first heard the work on a cd alongside Vivaldi's Gloria another outstanding orchestral choral work. It is said by some musical scholars that Vivaldi influenced Bach in how to open a work and certainly the opening of the Magnificat compares favourably with that of the Gloria. Also, the subtitles indicate the kind of textual construction that inspired the composer, profoundly religious that he was, to explore the limits of sacred music in which his knowledge always ran parallel with his variegated curiosity.
This was going along very pleasantly with Bach music and then suddenly there was 'Jesu joy of man's desiring', shear magic. And then a bit later they went through it again. Then in the Magnificat there was another magical bit when the 5 soloists sang the most wonderful quintet.