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