Bach: Cantatas Vol 22 / Gardiner
Label: SOLI DEO GLORIA
"This series goes from strength to strength with the first release for 2007 - Easter Cantatas from Eisenach where Bach spent the first ten years of his life, recorded in the church of St George where he was baptised and had been a chorister. Eisenach is where ""Bach meets Luther"", with the latter also having sung here and having penned his German translations of the New Testament while confined in the Wartburg castle which overlooks the town. The performances recorded formed part of a service where the sense of Easter as the pivotal feast of the Lutheran liturgical year was palpable. Bach's settling of Luther's hymn 'Christ lag in Todesbanden, BWV 4', is one of his earliest cantatas, a bold and innovative piece of musical drama with, at its heart, a battle between the forces of life and death from which the risen Christ emerges as victor. In seven verses and drawing on medieval musical roots, Bach's setting is evidence of his total identification with the spirit and letter of Luther's fiery, dramatic hymn, and this comes across clearly in this moving performance. Alongside BWV 6 & BWV 31, this magnificent set also includes BWV 66, a skilful adaptation of a lost birthday serenata for Leopold of Anhalt-Cöthen, the joyous BWV 134, composed for Easter Tuesday of 1724 and the exhuberant BWV 145."