Author Topic: The Bach Cantatas  (Read 232143 times)

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Harry

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #40 on: April 10, 2007, 04:56:01 AM »
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?

Not that I know of.

Offline 71 dB

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #41 on: April 10, 2007, 04:57:39 AM »
Not that I know of.

Pitty.

Seriously, Mera should sue BIS for religious discrimination.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2007, 05:01:16 AM by 71 dB »
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Larry Rinkel

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #42 on: April 10, 2007, 05:01:55 AM »
I find Suzuki altogether too precious and manicured in his approach to Bach, even in live performance (I heard his St. Matthew Passion a few years ago in Carnegie Hall with the notorious Robin Blaze). I don't think anyone has yet mentioned Helmuth Rilling, whose recordings on Hänssler of the passions and cantatas strike me as much more involved and involving than either Suzuki or Gardiner. Rilling's CDs often turn up inexpensively on eBay or through Berkshire. I also got the complete Harnoncourt sacred cantatas (some 60 CDs) from Berkshire for only $240 USD, or $4 a disc - a bargain.

As for the question, does one need to know all the Bach cantatas? Probably not. Not every one is an undying masterpiece. I probably know about 75 myself, so there are quite a few I've not yet encountered. If Marvin does not know the B minor mass or the two Passions, not to mention the great organ preludes and fugues, the Goldberg Variations, or the Art of Fugue, I'd sooner point him in those directions than trying to acquire every possible cantata. But a more productive approach might be for each person well-versed in the cantatas to nominate some dozen or so of their favorites, to see what concensus might be reached on which are some of the essential ones Marvin might be missing. Two nominations from the start: 106, 131.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2007, 07:36:03 AM by Larry Rinkel »

Offline maswot

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #43 on: April 12, 2007, 06:43:14 AM »
Can anyone comment on the new Gardiner recordings? They get rave reviews, of course, but that means less than nothing these days.

I agree that Herreweghe's offerings have been excellent. It would be great to see him get around to do a complete set.

I have about 30 of the Suzuki volumes, and as a set they are pretty amazing, even if it's true that some of the cantatas are more spectacular than others. It's a monumental commitment, and to have this high level of quality on a project of this size is remarkable in its own right.

Offline marvinbrown

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #44 on: April 12, 2007, 11:52:32 AM »
I find Suzuki altogether too precious and manicured in his approach to Bach, even in live performance (I heard his St. Matthew Passion a few years ago in Carnegie Hall with the notorious Robin Blaze). I don't think anyone has yet mentioned Helmuth Rilling, whose recordings on Hänssler of the passions and cantatas strike me as much more involved and involving than either Suzuki or Gardiner. Rilling's CDs often turn up inexpensively on eBay or through Berkshire. I also got the complete Harnoncourt sacred cantatas (some 60 CDs) from Berkshire for only $240 USD, or $4 a disc - a bargain.

As for the question, does one need to know all the Bach cantatas? Probably not. Not every one is an undying masterpiece. I probably know about 75 myself, so there are quite a few I've not yet encountered. If Marvin does not know the B minor mass or the two Passions, not to mention the great organ preludes and fugues, the Goldberg Variations, or the Art of Fugue, I'd sooner point him in those directions than trying to acquire every possible cantata. But a more productive approach might be for each person well-versed in the cantatas to nominate some dozen or so of their favorites, to see what concensus might be reached on which are some of the essential ones Marvin might be missing. Two nominations from the start: 106, 131.


    Hello Larry and thanks for the detailed reponse.  I am familiar with the Mass in B Minor (a splendid work of music) the two Passions (St. Matthew and St. Johns), the Goldberg Variations, and Art of Fugue.  I am however not familiar with the Great Organ preludes and fugues (except the obvious Toccata and Fugue in D minor).  After reading what you have just written I am going to start looking into recordings of the Organ Works.  Starting a nomination of cantatas to add to ones collection is an EXCELLENT idea.  Collecting Bach's work is going to be a lifetime endeavour.  Cantatas 106 and 131 have been logged in as future purchases.

  marvin     

Don

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #45 on: April 12, 2007, 12:36:23 PM »
"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: 


marvin


Great taste, as Leonhardt's Mass in B minor is my favored version on record.

Don

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #46 on: April 12, 2007, 12:42:05 PM »
Suzuki has only one soloist problem, and it goes by the name of Robin Blaze!

You got that right!  Although still a young man, Blaze needs to change his profession to one where he can keep his mouth closed.

Don

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #47 on: April 12, 2007, 12:43:50 PM »
But I repeat: Suzuki is a remarkable conductor of Bach.

Totally agree, and I also find Rifkin, Gardiner and Herreweghe remarkable.  Koopman I can take or leave.

Don

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #48 on: April 12, 2007, 12:49:36 PM »
I find Suzuki altogether too precious and manicured in his approach to Bach, even in live performance (I heard his St. Matthew Passion a few years ago in Carnegie Hall with the notorious Robin Blaze). I don't think anyone has yet mentioned Helmuth Rilling, whose recordings on Hänssler of the passions and cantatas strike me as much more involved and involving than either Suzuki or Gardiner. Rilling's CDs often turn up inexpensively on eBay or through Berkshire. I also got the complete Harnoncourt sacred cantatas (some 60 CDs) from Berkshire for only $240 USD, or $4 a disc - a bargain.


I acquired about ten Rilling cds of Bach Cantatas series.  Not bad at all with a definite homage to historically informed practices.  BUT, I feel that Suzuki, Gardiner, et al leave him at the starting gate.  When I want some modern instrument Bach cantatas, I reach for the Naxos discs.  I suppose that means that the 10 Rillings will eventually have to find another home (perhaps Harry's new one).

Harry

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #49 on: April 12, 2007, 12:52:05 PM »
I acquired about ten Rilling cds of Bach Cantatas series.  Not bad at all with a definite homage to historically informed practices.  BUT, I feel that Suzuki, Gardiner, et al leave him at the starting gate.  When I want some modern instrument Bach cantatas, I reach for the Naxos discs.  I suppose that means that the 10 Rillings will eventually have to find another home (perhaps Harry's new one).

O sure send them over, plenty of room you know! ;D

Don

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #50 on: April 12, 2007, 12:52:15 PM »
As for the question, does one need to know all the Bach cantatas? Probably not. Not every one is an undying masterpiece. I probably know about 75 myself, so there are quite a few I've not yet encountered. If Marvin does not know the B minor mass or the two Passions, not to mention the great organ preludes and fugues, the Goldberg Variations, or the Art of Fugue, I'd sooner point him in those directions than trying to acquire every possible cantata. But a more productive approach might be for each person well-versed in the cantatas to nominate some dozen or so of their favorites, to see what concensus might be reached on which are some of the essential ones Marvin might be missing. Two nominations from the start: 106, 131.

I'll have to bow out on this one.  Although I certainly agree that some of the cantatas are better than the remainder, I've never acquired Bach cantata discs on that basis.  I go with conductor preferences, finding that each and every cantata has much to offer me.

Don

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #51 on: April 12, 2007, 12:54:34 PM »
Can anyone comment on the new Gardiner recordings?

I love them.  The basic reason is that Gardiner celebrates Bach's music and god.  Most others offer a more reverential treatment.  Not being a religious person, the lack of reverence is fine with me.

Don

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #52 on: April 12, 2007, 12:57:58 PM »

    Hello Larry and thanks for the detailed reponse.  I am familiar with the Mass in B Minor (a splendid work of music) the two Passions (St. Matthew and St. Johns), the Goldberg Variations, and Art of Fugue.  I am however not familiar with the Great Organ preludes and fugues (except the obvious Toccata and Fugue in D minor).  After reading what you have just written I am going to start looking into recordings of the Organ Works.  Starting a nomination of cantatas to add to ones collection is an EXCELLENT idea.  Collecting Bach's work is going to be a lifetime endeavour.   

You can cut many years off the total if you acquire and listen at a more frequent pace.  That's what I did, realizing that modest contributions of finances and time would take forever, and I'm not a patient guy.  To me, instant gratification takes too long. ;D

Offline Justin Ignaz Franz Bieber

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #53 on: April 12, 2007, 09:04:36 PM »
I love them.  The basic reason is that Gardiner celebrates Bach's music and god.  Most others offer a more reverential treatment.  Not being a religious person, the lack of reverence is fine with me.

on paper i would think JEG's recordings would be the best, at least for me anyway. many of the soloists have also recorded with the hilliard ensemble, tallis scholars, gabrieli consort & other early music groups. i wish they had samples of bwv41 up but it looks like it hasn't been released yet.  :( i also like koopman's recordings generally; i'd probably like his cantata set too. someday i'll get both. :P
« Last Edit: April 12, 2007, 09:17:01 PM by biber fan »
"I am, therefore I think." -- Nietzsche

sunnyside_up

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #54 on: April 13, 2007, 02:49:25 AM »
Hi Marvin,

I'm on a journey of discovery with the cantatas also! 

For me it started when I bought the very cheap Brilliant Classics Bach: The Masterworks set, containing a fair selection of the cantatas. I'd not listened to any of them prior to that, but I have loved Bach's instrumental music ever since I first heard it in music class in high school.  After hearing those Leusink ones, I started wanting more, but didn't know where to start - I was gobsmacked by the sheer volume of them all. Like others on this forum, I have found the bach-cantatas website very informative.

Then I discovered a link to Simon Crouch's Listener's Guide to the Cantatas which helped me along the way: http://www.classical.net/music/comp.lst/works/bachjs/cantatas.html
and I decided to let Simon's choices guide me. He uses a rating index of his favourites, so I simply started from the top, getting CDs by many different interpreters. I've found that I love Herreweghe most of all, but I also have a few by Suzuki that I wouldn't part with, and Gardiner (especially in the more celebratory cantatas), plus of course the Rifkin Favourites set.

I listen to a cantata every day at least!! If I haven't got a new one to hear, I go back to my favourites:

131, 4, 1, 21, 106 (I like Bach's earlier style!), 63, 78, 161.

I'm very excited at the moment because I have just ordered Trauer Ode!!

Happy listening!

Offline marvinbrown

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #55 on: April 13, 2007, 02:54:17 AM »


  Thanks for the link sunnyside_up  :)

  marvin

Offline Que

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #56 on: April 13, 2007, 10:54:30 PM »
"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

Excellent choice, if I may say so! ;D  It's my personal favourite amongst the newcomers.
Kuijken does very intimate, lyrical and fluid performances. Special about these are the small scale vocals: one voice per part - which creates a very high degree of transparancy.

Five issues to date:

       

Q

Offline Justin Ignaz Franz Bieber

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #57 on: April 14, 2007, 05:42:17 PM »
i can't find samples of those ones i bet they're good... i like the kuijkens & i like most of the ovpp recordings i've heard... kuijken, gardiner, koopman, suzuki... how does someone pick just one set?!  :'(
« Last Edit: April 14, 2007, 05:46:04 PM by biber fan »
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Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #58 on: April 14, 2007, 06:41:50 PM »
... how does someone pick just one set?!  :'(

You don't! ;D Not with these all-encompassing works.

I've got cantatas from Herreweghe, Coin, Rifkin, Rilling, Goodman, Parrott, Funfgeld, Richter, Goebel, and Schreier.

And I feel I've barely scratched the surface!

But, really, it doesn't take a huge investment in time to piece together a fine collection of cantatas. If you find you like e.g. Gardiner then simply buy up all there is from him. He's recorded many and you'll learn much.

For me if it came right down to it I could probably live the rest of my life with nothing more than the ongoing Herreweghe cycle. That's how satisfied I am with his approach.

But doing so would preclude exposure to some fine soloists like Prégardien, Schäfer, Goerne, and the like which are found on other sets. So I do enjoy exploring other interpretations.

But, yes, tackling the cantatas on records can be daunting. There's an ocean of them to be had. But that's the good part!! The not-so-good part is finding time to track down one's 'faves'. But it's time well spent and can pay huge dividends.



Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Offline Que

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Re: The Bach Cantatas
« Reply #59 on: April 14, 2007, 08:28:13 PM »
i can't find samples of those ones i bet they're good... i like the kuijkens & i like most of the ovpp recordings i've heard... kuijken, gardiner, koopman, suzuki... how does someone pick just one set?!  :'(

Biber fan (great composer btw!), try these links for samples.  :)

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/hnum/7212826/rk/classic/rsk/hitlist
http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/hnum/4963035/rk/classic/rsk/hitlist
http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/hnum/7953279/rk/classic/rsk/hitlist
http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/hnum/4098491/rk/classic/rsk/hitlist

Q
« Last Edit: April 14, 2007, 11:09:14 PM by Que »