Genius of Bach

The genius of Johann Sebastian Bach

Bach – Cantatas Volume 49

Bach, J S:

  • Cantata BWV188 ‘Ich habe meine Zuversicht’
  • Cantata BWV156 ‘Ich steh mit einem Fuß im Grabe’
  • Cantata BWV159 ‘Sehet, wir gehn hinauf gen Jerusalem’
  • Cantata BWV171 ‘Gott, wie dein Name, so ist auch dein Ruhm’

Performed by Rachel Nicholls (soprano), Robin Blaze (counter-tenor), Gerd Türk (tenor) & Peter Kooij (bass), with the Bach Collegium Japan, directed by Masaaki Suzuki

15 years have passed since Masaaki Suzuki and Bach Collegium Japan began recording all of Bach’s cantatas; and this huge project now enters its final phase with the 49th volume.

In the present volume Suzuki has gathered four works from 1728-29, with the texts all written by the poet Christian Friedrich Henrici – a regular collaborator with Bach, most famously on the St Matthew Passion and the Christmas Oratorio

The four works gathered here range from the moods spanning from the jubilation of the New Year (Cantata BWV171) to the singing about Jerusalem in “Sehet, wir gehn hinauf gen Jerusalem”, BWV159. There is also variety on a more technical level, with BWV188 and BWV156 both beginning with instrumental sinfonias featuring important solo parts for organ and oboe respectively.

The latest volumes from the cantatas series have been met with considerable critical acclaim. With Volume 46 being made a ‘Critics’ Choice’ in Gramophone, and BBC Music Magazine singling out both Volume 47 and 48 as ‘Choral & Song Choice of the Month’.

I often am amazed that music that was composed more than 250 years ago is still capable of moving audiences today, as I am being moved by listening to it tonight!

And listen to the absolutely stunning interpretation of Bach’s art: the balance, the lushness of sound, and the beauty of it all!

Here is one of my great favorites of the interpretations of Masaaki Suzuki, as he conducts the Bach Collegium Japan in a performance of The J.S. Bach St. John Passion BWV 245


And here is the same group, performing Bach’s Motets


May this music generate much healing that is needed so badly in Japan…

Tags: Johann Sebastian Bach, Cantatas, Masaaki Suzuki, Bach Collegium Japan

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