Bach Cantatas (Poll)

Started by KevinP, July 01, 2013, 01:53:47 PM

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How many of Bach's cantatas do you own?

I have them all and am very/reasonably familiar with them all.
4 (7%)
I have them all but am not yet familiar with them all / haven't heard them all.
16 (28.1%)
I don't own them all, but I have somewhere around 100 different cantatas.
6 (10.5%)
I have maybe around 50.
4 (7%)
I have a small handfull of cantatas.
15 (26.3%)
I don't own any of Bach's cantatas.
4 (7%)
I have all of them in multiple renditions
8 (14%)

Total Members Voted: 57

DavidW

#20
Quote from: aligreto on April 17, 2022, 02:54:33 PM
To be honest, they would not be my first choice in the Bach Cantatas but, at the same time, I am glad that I own this cycle.

What is your first choice?

Jo498

I was so disappointed by the first? volume (one they gave away rather cheaply like a teaser around 2000) of the Suzuki (incl. BWV 4) that I ignored the series for years. I later got one or two later volumes that were much better, really excellent but it's not music I listen to that frequently, so I have not collected all the cantatas, even less the Suzuki.
Tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos, dans une chambre.
- Blaise Pascal

71 dB

Quote from: Jo498 on April 18, 2022, 12:09:45 AM
I was so disappointed by the first? volume (one they gave away rather cheaply like a teaser around 2000) of the Suzuki (incl. BWV 4) that I ignored the series for years. I later got one or two later volumes that were much better, really excellent but it's not music I listen to that frequently, so I have not collected all the cantatas, even less the Suzuki.

I was impressed by it (one of the reasons why I decided to start collecting) and I still find the Suzuki cycle awesome. I better be happy with those 55 discs, because I have invested a lot of money on them.
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aligreto

Quote from: DavidW on April 17, 2022, 04:21:45 PM
What is your first choice?

My first choice is unhesitatingly Gardiner because of the sense of pure joy that he brings to the music. I also think that his Monteverdi Choir is consistently excellent.
Herreweghe [incomplete on Harmonia Mundi] is a close second because of his sense of the devotional.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

DavidW

Quote from: aligreto on April 18, 2022, 01:20:19 AM
My first choice is unhesitatingly Gardiner because of the sense of pure joy that he brings to the music. I also think that his Monteverdi Choir is consistently excellent.
Herreweghe [incomplete on Harmonia Mundi] is a close second because of his sense of the devotional.

Nice choices!  My favorite incomplete sets are Kuijken and Herreweghe.

My favorite complete sets are Koopman, Gardiner and Suzuki with Koopman being my favorite.  I think the three compliment each other well.  Gardiner has that bubbly joy, Koopman has that jazzy spontaneity and Suzuki has a meditative quality.

aligreto

Quote from: DavidW on April 18, 2022, 05:33:29 AM
Nice choices!  My favorite incomplete sets are Kuijken and Herreweghe.

My favorite complete sets are Koopman, Gardiner and Suzuki with Koopman being my favorite.  I think the three compliment each other well.  Gardiner has that bubbly joy, Koopman has that jazzy spontaneity and Suzuki has a meditative quality.

Yes, it is always down to interpretation and presentation, obviously, and how we perceive the music ourselves.
Interesting comment on Koopman; I have not seen that interpretation before.
Continued enjoyment in your listening.  :)
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

71 dB

Today: BVW 9, 10, 12 & 13. Of these I call BVW 10 and especially 12 essential. The latter is actually one of the best cantatas by Bach, I believe.  0:)

In general I seem to like Bach's early (Mühlhausen/Weimar) cantatas for their Buxtehude/Bruhns-likeness. In the later cantatas recitatives are often musically boring, but in these early cantatas recitatives are non-existing or musically interesting.
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 "Jazzz"

71 dB

Today: BVW 14, 16, 17 & 18 (Suzuki cycle all the time)

Of these only BVW 18 feels essential for it's experimental nature. 
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 "Jazzz"

Papy Oli

#28
Enjoy the listening journey, Poju.

I am only a few months into my discovery of his cantatas, amongst his other works. It's taken me 15+years to "get" this composer. It is now an absolute joy to listen him every week. Happy listening !

(In answer to the old poll: All of them, a handful of versions of each. It has been such a "conversion" 0:)  :laugh: )



Olivier

71 dB

Quote from: Papy Oli on April 19, 2022, 08:56:28 AM
Enjoy the listening journey, Poju.

I am only a few months into my discovery of his cantatas, amongst his other works. It's taken me 15+years to "get" this composer. It is now an absolute joy to listen him every week. Happy listening !

(In answer to the old poll: All of them, a handful of versions of each. It has been such a "conversion" 0:)  :laugh: )

Thanks! It is certainly interesting to get to know these works better.

For me "getting" the music of Bach was relatively easy, because I love counterpoint in music and Bach was "quite" good at that ;D I'm glad you have have discovered the joy of Bach!
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 "Jazzz"

71 dB

BWV 19, 20, 21 & 22

Suzuki did BVW 21 twice, "Hamburg 1720" and "Leipzig 1723" versions. I listened here the earlier version. The comparison of different versions of BVW 21 is beyond my plan to go through Bach's church cantatas. Out of these four cantatas I really like BVW 21 and BVW 22, but also BVW 20 has its charm. Hence, all of these three cantatas earn my "essential" approval at this point.

I am not a fan of recitatives in general (often musically really boring), but BWV 22 has got the type of "powerful" recitative I love.  0:)
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 "Jazzz"

71 dB

BWV 23, 24, 25 & 26

Today I listened to these four cantatas, each ~15 minutes long. The first one, BVW 23 feels like an essential work, but the other 3 fail to impress compared to Bach's better cantatas.
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 "Jazzz"

André

I have collected about 2/3 of the Teldec Harnoncourt/Leonhardt discs in their old cd incarnation (with notes, texts and translations) and have a dozen individual discs from other sources. I don't intend to collect the whole lot for completeness' sake, but if one of the missing Teldec sets comes up cheap, I'll go for it.

As whole cantatas go, I find there's maybe a dozen that are real masterpieces. In all the others there are some telling moments that make the occasional hearing worthwhile. My favourite is no 60, the one Berg quotes in his violin concerto.

71 dB

#33
BWV 27, 28, 29 & 30

I have to say BWV 29 wiped the floor with the other three. Bach recycles his other works here, but who cares if the result is this good?

Quote from: André on April 21, 2022, 11:01:43 AM
I have collected about 2/3 of the Teldec Harnoncourt/Leonhardt discs in their old cd incarnation (with notes, texts and translations) and have a dozen individual discs from other sources. I don't intend to collect the whole lot for completeness' sake, but if one of the missing Teldec sets comes up cheap, I'll go for it.

As whole cantatas go, I find there's maybe a dozen that are real masterpieces. In all the others there are some telling moments that make the occasional hearing worthwhile. My favourite is no 60, the one Berg quotes in his violin concerto.

Once I have gone through all the cantatas and crafted a list of the best ones, I may start to look for alternative recordings for some select cantatas. I wonder what those Teldec discs for example have to offer? The most recordings I have for these cantatas is for BWV 82:

Bach Collegium Japan / Masaaki Suzuki / BIS
Gli Angeli Geneve / Stephan MacLeod / Sony
Northern Chamber Orchestra / Nicholas Ward / Naxos
Bach-Collegium Stuttgart / Helmut Rilling / Hänssler Classic

I also have three performances of secular cantatas BWV 208 & 211 on BIS (Suzuki), Brilliant Classics (Schreier) and Naxos (Antál)

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 "Jazzz"

DavidW

Quote from: 71 dB on April 22, 2022, 12:00:27 PM
Once I have gone through all the cantatas and crafted a list of the best ones, I may start to look for alternative recordings for some select cantatas. I wonder what those Teldec discs for example have to offer? The most recordings I have for these cantatas is for BWV 82:

Since that is my favorite cantata it is nice to see the love.  Here are some of my fav recordings:


Que

#35
Quote from: André on April 21, 2022, 11:01:43 AM
I have collected about 2/3 of the Teldec Harnoncourt/Leonhardt discs in their old cd incarnation (with notes, texts and translations) and have a dozen individual discs from other sources. I don't intend to collect the whole lot for completeness' sake, but if one of the missing Teldec sets comes up cheap, I'll go for it.

I collected them all, and I'm planning to go through the entire lot following the Church calendar. Must have been a decade or so ago that I did that for the last time! :)

71 dB

BWV 31, 32, 33 & 34

The "winner" of today's cantatas is BWV 32, althou 33 & 34 aren't bad either while 31 felt the weakest of the four.

The cover art for Suzuki vol. 48 wrongly list BWV 48 as one of the cantatas on that disc instead of BWV 34.
Ironically the "name" of the volume is based on BWV 34 "O ewinges Feuer".

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 "Jazzz"

71 dB

BWV 35, 36, 37 & 38

None of these impressed me.  :P
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 "Jazzz"

71 dB

BWV 39, 40, 41 & 42

The first two did not impress much, but BWV 41 felt essential while BWV 42 blew me away! Great sinfonia and the alto aria is amazing!  0:)
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 "Jazzz"

DavidW

I appreciate reading your impressions of the cantatas as you continue your pilgrimage. 0:)