Bach: Cantatas, Motets & Organ Music

Album cover art for upc 5028421964348
Label: BRILLIANT CLASSICS
Catalog: BRI96434
Format: COMPACT DISC

Zerer, Wolfgang; Doeselaar, Leo van; Gesualdo Consort Amsterdam; Berndt, Tobias; Dieltiens, Amaryllis; Musica Amphion; Naessens, Bart; Erler, David; Gramß, Nele; Laar, Vincent van; Petitlaurent, Stephanie; Smits, Reitze; Mields, Dorothee; Belder, Pieter-Jan; Daniels, Charles; Wey, Terry; van der Kamp, Harry; Cat, Marnix de

In 2012-14, these six albums were issued as individual books, in which format they attracted praise both for the depth of their insights and the excellence of the performances: ‘”Elegant” is the word for this production, equally worthy to give or to keep’ Fanfare (Volume 1). This box makes them available once again at a superbudget price, with a new introductory essay by Peter Quantrill in the booklet, and all the original essays republished at brilliantclassics.com. The result is a highly attractive box for both Bach collectors and for newcomers to the inexhaustible treasure-trove that is his output of cantatas. The selection of repertoire ranges chronologically from early masterpieces such as Christ lag in Todesbanden BWV4 and the Passacaglia BWV582 to the long period of his maturity as Cantor in Leipzig, when Bach wrote five cycles of cantatas for each feast-day in the church calendar. An important feature of Bach in Context is the use of the church organ as both a continuo and solo instrument. Each album opens with a piece of organ music (a Toccata or Prelude) and ends with another voluntary such as the corresponding fugue. The albums explore resonant themes which run through Bach’s music, in several cases linked by the chorale hymns on which he based organ and vocal fantasias in his cantatas and motets. Led by the experienced Bach performer Pieter-Jan Belder, who has recorded all of the composer’s harpsichord music for Brilliant Classics, these performances feature one voice per part in a tightly knit vocal consort, according to the theories outlined by Joshua Rifkin, and which have since won wide acceptance. The singers are led by Harry van der Kamp, who has recorded cantatas with many other distinguished early-music directors such as Gustav Leonhardt and Ton Koopman.

Price: $88.98