> Bach - Cantatas vol.15 []: Classical Reviews- February 2002 MusicWeb(UK)

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Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Cantatas vol. 15

Cantata No.40, "Darzu ist erschienen der Sohn Gottes", BWV 40
Cantata No.60, "O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort", BWV 60
Cantata No.70, "Wachet! betet! betet! wachet!", BWV 70
Cantata No.90, "Es reißet euch ein schrecklich Ende", BWV 90
Yukari Nonoshita, soprano
Robin Blaze, countertenor
Gerd Türk, tenor
Peter Kooij, bass
Bach Collegium Japan, Masaaki Suzuki
Rec: September 2000, Kobe Shoin Womenís University, Japan.
BIS CD-1111 [67.35]


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Masaaki Suzuki continues his complete set of Bachís sacred cantatas with this volume 15, featuring four cantatas from Bachís early years in Leipzig, all written in late 1723. Suzukiís restrained forces and excellent soloists once again put Bach into a very welcome perspective, as compared to other recordings of the cantatas.

Suzukiís small chorus (twelve singers, three to each part) gives this music a delicate sound, with a fine texture and clear voicings. His light orchestral touch lets the singers take centre-stage, and such movements as the opening aria of cantata BWV 60, show the well judged balance he attains between instrumentalists and singers.

Suzukiís singers are all to the usual high standard as they have shown in previous volumes of this series. Robin Blaze is one of the best countertenors singing this repertoire, and soprano Yukari Nonoshita shines, although she has only one solo in cantata BWV 70. Tenor Gerd Türk, an experienced Bach singer, is light and flexible, and stands out in his many appearances on this disc.

Bass Peter Kooij again shows himself to be one of the finest basses singing this repertoire. His brief aria in cantata BWV 40, Höllische SchangeÖ, is magnificent. His voice has a fluidity and smoothness not heard often enough in singers at this range. His other appearances, in cantatas BWV 70 and 90, are equally satisfying, with the joyous aria So löschet in Eifer der rachende Richter, where he sings with obbligato trombone, an especially fine performance.

Masaaki Suzuki delivers yet another distinguished and enjoyable volume with a perfect balance between musicians and singers. His choice of small forces and well chosen tasteful soloists makes this yet another volume in what is probably the best set of recordings of Bachís sacred cantatas.

Kirk McElhearn

Visit the Bach Collegium Japan webpage for reviews of other releases in this series


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