Bach: Cantatas Vol 23 / Gardiner, Et Al
Label: SOLI DEO GLORIA
"With the second release of 2007 the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage moves on to Amstadt, where in 1703 an eighteen-year-old Bach was appointed organist of the 'Neue Kirche'. It is fitting that this new release opens with the astonishing BWV 150 'Nach dir, herr, verlanget mich', now generally accepted to be Bach's very first church cantata and possibly composed for the 'Neue Kirche' at some stage during his time as organist. We enter a different world with BWV 67 'Halt im Gedächtnis Jesum Christ'. From the superb opening chorale fantasia, the music vibrates with a pulsating rhythmic energy and a wealth of invention. Evidently much thought went into the planning of this impressive cantata, the first in a sequence of five leading up to Whit Sunday. Hard on the heels of Bach's magnificent cantatas for Low Sunday came three pastoral cantatas all inspired by the twenty-third Psalm. Recorded during the opening concert of the Festival International Echtemach in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, BWV 104 'Du Hirte Israel, höre' from Bach's Leipzig cycle, displays the clearest of aspiring, upward tonal designs. BWV 112 'Der Herr ist mein getreuer Hirt' is a late addition to Bach's chorale-cantata cycle. All five verses of this superb cantata are tailored to the expression of the text, the music imaginatively and cunningly conceived, an example of Bach drawing on his experience and skill to articulate his religious convictions and to exhort, stimulate and charm his listeners. ""Gardiner's players and singers are soaked in the idiom as no ensemble of musicians can have been, arguably since Bach's time."" (Gramophone) ""Each new arrival in John Eliot Gardiner's massive Bach Cantata Pilgrimage series is still, unapologetically, worth trumpeting...Pure pleasure."" (Metro)"