Bach: Cantatas Vol. 28 / Gardiner

Album cover art for upc 843183018529
Label: SDG
Catalog: SDG 185
Format: CD

Lenneke Ruiten (soprano), Meg Bragle (contralto), Andrew Tortise (tenor), Dietrich Henschel (baritone) The Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner

Recorded in the City of London in 2012, this album features the missing cantatas from the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage: the Ascension Cantatas. They were recorded live at St Giles Cripplegate (one of the original Pilgrimage venues) in two concerts entirely funded by the generosity of hundreds of donors across the world, following a heartfelt appeal from British comedian Alexander Armstrong. The quartet of soloists include one of the original Pilgrimage soloists, bass Dietrich Henschel, alongside a new generation of Bach interpreters who have worked with the ensembles since 2000 – making this recording a “bridge” between a Bach tradition started 13 years ago and today. The Ascension Oratorio “Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen” (BWV11) is a heart-warming, uplifting work. Beginning and ending with two grand festive choruses, it is full of rhythmic swagger, jazz-like nonchalance, stratospheric glitter for the high trumpet and vocal acrobatics for the choir. “Gott fähret auf mit Jauchzen” (BWV43) opens with a glorious, unconventional introduction with high trumpets and drums, and continues with a sequence reminiscent of the opera seria of its time. “Wer da gläubet und getauft wird” (BWV37) focuses on the words of Jesus to his followers and starts with a gentle chorus of choir and orchestra of strings and oboe d’amore. “Auf Christi Himmelfahrt allein” (BWV128) features festive opening and closing movements celebrating Christ’s majesty. SDG185 is packaged in SDG’s usual high-quality book-case. It contains a 32-page booklet with original notes by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, and sung texts in German and English

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