Today’s topic at My Classical Notes is the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, and specifically his Cantatas for Soprano:
Bach, J S:
Cantata BWV202 ‘Weichet Nur, betrübte Schatten’ (Wedding Cantata)
Cantata BWV152 ‘Tritt auf die Glaubenbahn’
Andreas Wolf (bass-baritone)
Cantata BWV199 ‘Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut’
Performed by Carolyn Sampson (soprano), with the Freiburger Barockorchester, Petra Müllejans conducting.
Bach’s period as organist to the Duke of Weimar (1708-17) was the time of his early mastery. Nowhere is this more evident than in the small but highly distinguished body of cantatas he wrote there, whether for the court chapel – the Himmelsburg or ‘Castle of Heaven’ – or for some clearly very joyful wedding (BWV202).
From the amazing duets for soprano and oboe of the latter to the penitential strains of BWV199, the radiant voice of Carolyn Sampson and the virtuosos of the Freiburger Barockorchester do full justice to Bach’s inventiveness.
Soprano Carolyn Sampson has been proclaimed “the best British early music soprano by some distance” by the editors of Gramophone. A native of Bedford, she studied voice with Richard Smart at the University of Birmingham, and made her debut with the English National Opera in a production of Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea and continues to appear with this company with regularity in addition to appearances at the Paris Opera.
Here is Carolyn Sampson in music by Haendel: