Johann Sebastian BACH (1695-1750)
No. 64, Sehet, welch eine Liebe hat uns der Vater erzeiget a
No. 25, Es ist nichts Gesundes an meinem Liebe b
No. 69a, Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele c
No. 77, Du sollst Gott, deinen Herren, lieben d
No. 50, Nun ist das Heil und die Kraft.
Ab Yukari Nonoshita, cd
Yoshie Hida (sopranos);
aRobin Blaze (counter-tenor),
cd Kirsten Sollek-Avella (alto);
bGerd Türk, cdMakoto Sakurada (tenors);
Peter Kooij (bass);
abConcerto Palatino Brass Ensemble;
Bach Collegium Japan/Masaaki Suzuki.
BIS CD-1041 [DDD]
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Masaaki Suzuki's excellent Bach Cantata cycle on BIS continues with this
well-chosen programme, which presents pieces written for Leipzig in 1723.
Suzuki is alive to the moods and demands of the individual cantatas, lavishing
each with equal amounts of care and losing nothing to already established
performances of these works. Cantata No. 64, for example, brings him up against
the likes of Richter, Rilling, Harnoncourt and, most recently, Koopman (part
of a three-disc set), but Suzuki's conception is entirely convincing in its
The role of the chorus in Bach's cantatas is vital: they provide the
all-important chorales that act as a life-blood. The Bach Collegium Japan's
chorus excels, imbuing them with life whilst simultaneously respecting the
devotion at the heart of the music. The chorus that opens Cantata No.
69a ('Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele'), a cross between the openings
of the Christmas Oratorio and the D major Magnificat, is
infectiously joyful and celebratory.
In addition, recitatives are elevated from mere linking passages to real
musical entities within themselves: the short tenor recitative from Cantata
No. 25 ('Die ganze Welt ist nur ein Hospital'), delivered by Gerd Türk,
is a shining example of just what level of expression can be achieved in
a short space of time.
The soloists are almost uniformly excellent. In particular, Yukari Nonoshita
possesses a remarkably pure voice (entirely apt for this repertoire) and
Peter Kooij seems to feed on Bach's considerable demands: his aria, 'Mein
Erlöser und Erhalter' from Cantata No. 69a is a model of precise
articulation, clear runs and appropriate phrasing. Only the soprano Yoshie
Hida is occasionally not quite focused.
The Cantata fragment Nun ist das Heil und die Kraft, with its spirited
imitation and pointed orchestra, provides an uplifting end to a thoroughly
Visit the Bach
Collegium Japan webpage for reviews
of other releases in this series