Author Topic: The Bach Cantatas  (Read 232144 times)

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Don

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2007, 02:04:43 PM »
The best cantatas by Buxtehude and Bruhns are better than the worst by Bach. Even if the music by Buxtehude and Bruhns was inferior to that of Bach it is worth exploring for it's beauty.


You've changed your story on this one, a welcome change for sure.  And I agree that Buxtehude and Bruhns cantatas are worth exploring (Telemann also).

Don

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2007, 02:06:52 PM »
  Hello Que, I have the following recordings of the cantatas, my personal favorite is this one:
 

  the soprano aria that opens Cantata 51 is unbelievable, I love how Bach "flirts" with the soprano driving up and up, truely inspring.  I also love Cantata 140 (Wachet auf, I have so many adaptations of this piece of music-Sleepers Awake) and also Cantata147.  this set is a must for every collection.


Yes, a wonderful set and there's none better.

Offline marvinbrown

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2007, 02:23:32 PM »
Marvin - have to agree w/ the others, the more you hear these wonderful works, the more of them you want!  I have only about 30 or so (a beginner!), and have not yet acquired any w/ Suzuki (although there certainly are other excellent options) - in fact I need to make a major effort and explore these works again - you might want to check out this excellent Bach Cantata Website - I've posted it in the old forum (as have others);plus, there may be other sites discussing these compositions?  Good luck, and YES if you've gone up to a dozen, start considering you next 12 -  ;D ;) :D

   Thanks for the link SonicMan, I am starting to consider the next 12: so far I have this in mind: Cantata 21, 61 as per 71db recommendations, I have read that 29,199 and 208 (I believe thats where "sheep may safely graze" comes from) are notable.  This is going to be a very long journey indeed......

marvin

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2007, 03:13:56 PM »
   I am ashamed to admit that I have not heard of either Buxtehude nor Bruhns.  Untill those names were mentioned the only composer I know who influenced Bach was Vivaldi.  I know Handel wrote Cantatas (The Italian Cantatas I think they are called) but I do not know if they influenced Bach's cantatas or not?

Marvin - please, do not feel bad about your above comments - I own no Buxtehude or Bruhns, but would certainly like to acquire some of their works; a couple of interesting stories about Buxtehude that may be of interest:  1) Buxtehude's fame as an organist in Lübeck enticed JS Bach to walk over 200 miles or so in 1705 to see him perform & study his technique; and 2) Bach wanted to replace Buxtehude in that position (remember Bach was only 20 y/o or so), but he would have had to 'marry' Bux's daughter (who was described as 'old & ugly' at this point - check  here); Bach declined.  Bottom line is that Buxtehude is considered an important pre-Bach Baroque composer worthy of exploration (but stay away from his daughter -  ;) ;D) -  :)

Offline knight66

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2007, 03:20:08 PM »
Handel's Italian cantatas are mainly solo cantatas and are altogether different beasts from Bach's. They are not religious, rather they are mostly devoted to mythical or historical situations. Some are very fine indeed and they come from Handel's early career.

Mike
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I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline Que

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2007, 10:16:57 PM »
  Hello Que, I have the following recordings of the cantatas, ...

You already have a lot, and in different styles too! :D
It's difficult to make any recommendations now - it really depends on you preferences!
But If you are going to expand on your Bach cantatas collection you'll undoubtedly encounter these conductors. BTW, it's all HIP (= historically informed performances).

Philippe Herreweghe has done a lot of cantatas - though not a complete cycle.


Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Gustav Leonhardt did the first complete cantata cycle - still my favourite.
Also available on single CD's (2nd picture).


John Elliot Gardiner's cycle is still in progress:


Masaaki Suzuki's ongoing cycle you already know  :) :


Ton Koopman's complete cycle has just finished.


Sigiswald Kuijken has just started a cantata cycle, though he won't record all - just a complete lithurgical year.


Q



« Last Edit: April 09, 2007, 01:10:55 AM by Que »

Marc

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #26 on: April 09, 2007, 12:10:54 AM »
You already have a lot, and in different styles too! :D
It's difficult to make any recommendations now - it really depends on you preferences!
But If you are going to expand on your Bach cantatas collection you'll undoubtedly encounter these conductors. BTW, it's all HIP (= historically informed performances).

Phillippe Herreweghe has done a lot of cantatas - though not a complete cycle.

Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Gustav Leonhardt did the first complete cantata cycle - still my favourite.

John Elliot Gardiner's cycle is still in progress:

Masaaki Suzuki's ongoing cycle you already know  :) :

Ton Koopman's complete cycle has just finished.

Sigiswald Kuijken has just started a cantata cycle, though he won't record all - just a complete lithurgical year.

Oh, how I'd love to have them all!
If I were a rich man ....




Offline marvinbrown

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #27 on: April 09, 2007, 01:42:39 AM »
"He was so impressed he might have hung on and become Buxtehude's successor.
But unwritten law at St. Mary's required the new organist to marry his predecessor's wife or daughter. Buxtehude's daughter was so old and ugly that Bach went back to his organ post at Arnstadt."


  This has got to be the funniest thing I have read in a very long time.  What a social custom it was!

  The La Petite Band cantatas sound very interesting. I have always liked the La Petite Band recording of Bach's Mass: 


  I will start with the La Petite Band recordings of the cantatas.

   marvin
 
   

   



Offline 71 dB

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #28 on: April 09, 2007, 01:58:38 AM »
   I am ashamed to admit that I have not heard of either Buxtehude nor Bruhns.  Untill those names were mentioned the only composer I know who influenced Bach was Vivaldi.  I know Handel wrote Cantatas (The Italian Cantatas I think they are called) but I do not know if they influenced Bach's cantatas or not?

  marvin

I have created a thread (non Bach) baroque cantatas
« Last Edit: April 09, 2007, 02:47:51 AM by 71 dB »
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Offline 71 dB

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #29 on: April 09, 2007, 02:29:26 AM »
You've changed your story on this one, a welcome change for sure.  And I agree that Buxtehude and Bruhns cantatas are worth exploring (Telemann also).

No, I didn't change my story, just said the same thing differently. Everybody knows that Bach's 200+ cantatas are an unsurpassable achievement but that does not mean cantatas by other composers should be neglected. The cantatas of Buxtehude and Bruhns represent middle baroque while Bach's cantatas are late baroque. So, they have slightly different strenghts. Bach's music is very tense in it's persistent goal to combine melodic lines with harmony and counterpoint while middle baroque is more relaxed and breathing because it rests more on beautiful heavenly sounds and musical effects. I have room in my heart for both (and many more) approaches.

71 db,

Why don't you start with this post (and delete it here) a general non-Bach "German Baroque Cantatas" thread, as has already been suggested?  :) Don't be shy... 8)

Q

I will but it takes time. I don't know how to do it. I need time to think.

EDIT: I have done what you say Que. Happy?
« Last Edit: April 09, 2007, 02:49:20 AM by 71 dB »
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Offline Que

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #30 on: April 09, 2007, 03:09:39 AM »
EDIT: I have done what you say Que. Happy?

Very. :)
And what's more - it creates the opportunity to focus on Bruhns, Buxtehude, Telemann, etc. other than "en marge" of a Bach topic.

Q

Offline val

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #31 on: April 10, 2007, 03:12:14 AM »
My choice for the Cantatas would be the version of Harnoncourt and Leonhardt. They have great moments (the BWV 20 by Harnoncourt is extraordinary).

Suzuki is a remarkable conductor in this repertory but his soloists are sometimes mediocre.

There are very good things in the anthology set of Karl Richter, with modern instruments: the BWV 44, 60, 78, 96 among others, are splendid.

Harry

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #32 on: April 10, 2007, 03:15:03 AM »
).

Suzuki is a remarkable conductor in this repertory but his soloists are sometimes mediocre.



Suzuki has only one soloist problem, and it goes by the name of Robin Blaze!

Offline val

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #33 on: April 10, 2007, 03:34:04 AM »
Quote
Harry

Suzuki has only one soloist problem, and it goes by the name of Robin Blaze!

Yes, regarding Blaze. But, what about Jan Kobow? And the soprano Nonoshita has a voice that doesn't seem to me to be very adequated to this repertory. Only the bass is good.
We must not forget, among the other versions, the sopranos Mathis, Ameling or Giebel, the altos Janet Baker, Finnila, or even the countertenor Esswood or Jacobs, the tenors Equiluz or Häfliger, the bass van Egmond.

But I repeat: Suzuki is a remarkable conductor of Bach.

Harry

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #34 on: April 10, 2007, 03:42:26 AM »
Yes, regarding Blaze. But, what about Jan Kobow? And the soprano Nonoshita has a voice that doesn't seem to me to be very adequated to this repertory. Only the bass is good.
We must not forget, among the other versions, the sopranos Mathis, Ameling or Giebel, the altos Janet Baker, Finnila, or even the countertenor Esswood or Jacobs, the tenors Equiluz or Häfliger, the bass van Egmond.

But I repeat: Suzuki is a remarkable conductor of Bach.

Agreed about Kobow, but Nonoshita is absolutely wonderful and well fitted into Bach's framework.
Of the others I find Ameling, Esswood, Equiluz and Egmond fine singers.
But the soloist from Suzuki have something different to tell.

Offline 71 dB

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #35 on: April 10, 2007, 04:03:25 AM »
I don't have problems with any of Suzuki's soloists, even Robin Blaze.

Then again, I don't have fixations about the right & wrong ways to perform music...
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Harry

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #36 on: April 10, 2007, 04:10:51 AM »
I don't have problems with any of Suzuki's soloists, even Robin Blaze.

Then again, I don't have fixations about the right & wrong ways to perform music...

Remember the first counter with whom Suzuki worked, Mera, he was the best counter I ever heard, although many think his voice a girly one, well that's what a counter is suppose to be! Blaze is just a howler like the one Ron is getting I think from his grandmother in the first Harry Potter film.

Offline 71 dB

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #37 on: April 10, 2007, 04:12:22 AM »
Remember the first counter with whom Suzuki worked, Mera, he was the best counter I ever heard, although many think his voice a girly one, well that's what a counter is suppose to be! Blaze is just a howler like the one Ron is getting I think from his grandmother in the first Harry Potter film.


Why was Mera replaced by Blaze?
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Harry

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #38 on: April 10, 2007, 04:22:32 AM »
Why was Mera replaced by Blaze?

Because Suzuki did not think him religious enough. Maybe he was not in real life, but his voice is one from heaven.
Suzuki made herein a big mistake.
Also the pop music attracted Mera very much, but that did not work out.
And BIS is not interested in him anymore.
But we have the first six issues with him, or more, I forgot.

Offline 71 dB

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #39 on: April 10, 2007, 04:53:57 AM »
Because Suzuki did not think him religious enough. Maybe he was not in real life, but his voice is one from heaven.
Suzuki made herein a big mistake.
Also the pop music attracted Mera very much, but that did not work out.
And BIS is not interested in him anymore.
But we have the first six issues with him, or more, I forgot.

Religious enough???  ??? Damn, I am an atheist and I love 17th/18th century church music!
It's nobody's damn business how religious Mera is!

Is Mera recording under any other label?
Spatial distortion is a serious problem deteriorating headphone listening.
Crossfeeders reduce spatial distortion and make the sound more natural
and less tiresome in headphone listening.

My Sound Cloud page <-- NEW track "Ecclesiastical Secularism"