Cantatas BWV 119-121.
Arleen Auger, Helen Donath,
Ann Murray, Hildegard Laurich, Doris Soffel, Adalbert Krause, Wolfgang
Schöne. Gachinger Kantorei, Bach-Collegium Stuttgart Helmuth Rilling.
Hanssler Classics CD92.038
This CD groups three of Bach's most imposing cantatas with the scoring frequently
including trumpets and timpani. 'Praise, O Jerusalem, The Lord' is full of
inspired writing for choral forces and the effect is extremely moving especially
in the six minute long opening chorus. The arias are extremely short and
another chorus also contains special parts for trumpets and timpani. The
concluding chorale is also extremely beautiful in its simplicity and
spirituality. 'God we Praise Thee Now in the Stillness' is also extremely
involved with material that reappears in the later more exultant B minor
Mass. Indeed the cantata begins with an eight minute aria that includes some
wonderful parts for oboe d'amore followed by a sprightly chorus that is the
'Et resurrexit' from the latter Mass. Here I enjoyed Rilling's forthright
direction that gives much emphasis on staccato and rhythmic buoyancy.
The other cantata, 'To Christ We Should Sing Praises Now' is shorter but
includes a beautiful aria for bass that is ably sung by Wolfgang Schöne.
Indeed all the soloists are deeply schooled in Bachian interpretation no
doubt garnered from their part in Hanssler's voyage through the complete
cantatas; the only extant integrale in the catalogues. Hanssler's remastering
has greatly improved the original recordings and this particular volume will
be pleasing to those who prefer Bach in celebratory mood.