Recreation for the Soul (Bach Cantatas)
This despatch estimate is based on information from both our own stock and the UK supplier's stock.
If ordering multiple items, we will aim to send everything together so the longest despatch estimate will apply to the complete order.
If you would rather receive certain items more quickly, please place them on a separate order.
If any unexpected delays occur, we will keep you informed of progress via email and not allow other items on the order to be held up.
If you would prefer to receive everything together regardless of any delay, please let us know via email.
Pre-orders will be despatched as close as possible to the release date.
Label: Channel Classics
Cat No: CCSSA35214
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 25th August 2014
WorksCantata BWV78 'Jesu der du meine Seele'
Cantata BWV147 'Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben'
Cantata BWV150 'Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich'
ArtistsElin Manahan Thomas
The Magdalena Consort was founded in 2008 by Peter Harvey and is acclaimed for its virtuoso chamber performances of sacred vocal music from Monteverdi to Bach. In addition to using period instruments, the group aims to perform with historically appropriate numbers of players and singers, which encourages the chamber-music approach which is central to its vivid sound. Joshua Rifkin was the first to argue that Bach commonly performed his vocal works with one singer per part, rather than employ a 'choir' in the traditional sense, and it is this approach that the Magdalena Consort adopts. It is fair to say that there is still a healthy debate surrounding the question, but, from a performer's perspective, this approach facilitates communication between the performers so that the counterpoint – the independence of individual musical lines which so strongly characterises Bach's music – can be enjoyed with the maximum freedom. The singers associated with the Magdalena Consort are well established as international soloists, besides having considerable experience of ensemble singing, and the instrumentalists are drawn from some of the world's best-known period instrument orchestras and chamber groups.
The Europadisc Review
In the past few years, it's undoubtedly been the complete cycles of Bach cantatas that have grabbed the attentio¬¬n of music critics, not least those by Masaaki Suzuki's Bach Collegium Japan (on BIS) and John Eliot Gardiner with his Monteverdi Choir (SDG). Yet for those in the know, it has always been worth exploring more selective projects for refreshingly special insights. Philip Pierlot's Ricercar Consort on the Mirare label has proved particularly rewarding for those listeners interested in experiencing one-voice-per-part performances, and now bass Peter Harvey's Magdalena Consort proves itself to be an equally fine exponent of this approach, which was first championed by Joshua Rifkin in the 1980s and remains hotly debated by performers and musicologists alike.
Though founded in 2008 and already highly regarded for its chamber-scale performances of Monteverdi and Bach, this is the Magdalena Consort's first recording, and it's difficult to imagine a more auspicious debut. Harvey himself contributes an exceptionally thoughtful booklet essay, concentrating on the numerical significance of the three cantatas on the disc, yet couched in such terms as to be immediately accessible to the non-specialist. The performances themselves are just as thoughtful: while never wallowing in slow speeds, they are equally never rushed, and this makes for one of the most appealing discs of Bach cantatas currently available.
It helps that the three works are among Bach's greatest in the genre, and are taken from different periods of his creative development. BWV 150 is now thought to be Bach's earliest Cantata, probably composed in 1707 in Arnstadt as preparation for his new position at Mühlhausen. Brahms used the bass line of the glorious final Ciaccona (chaccone, track 14) as the basis for the finale of his Fourth Symphony, and the whole work – scored for exceptionally intimate forces – is a gem, as well as hiding a remarkable acrostic which is helpfully revealed in the accompanying texts. BWV 78 was composed in 1724 in Leipzig, and from the opening chorale-passacaglia it makes its mark like few others. The soprano-alto duet (track 2) is a real joy, while the bass aria with strings and obligato oboe (track 6) is particularly arresting. The concluding work, Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147, was originally composed in Weimar in 1716, and subsequently reworked in 1723 in Leipzig. It is probably best known for its recurring chorale-chorus (tracks 20 and 24, familiar to English-speaking audiences as Jesu, joy of man's desiring), which is here ideally paced on each appearance, its textures warm yet wondrously transparent. The lively opening chorus and the penultimate aria, a martial affair for bass, trumpet and strings (track 23), are notable highlights.
Throughout this recording, the vocal quartet of soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, alto Daniel Taylor, tenor James Gilchrist and Harvey himself on bass, work exceptionally well together as well as in their solo numbers, with a highly developed sensitivity to the sung texts. There are outstanding instrumental contributions from, among others, leader Lucy Russell, oboist James Eastaway, flautist Rachel Brown, and trumpeter Robert Farley, and the ensemble and balance as a whole are flawless.
With vivid recording and full documentation, this is a splendidly successful disc both for the Magdalena Consort and for Channel Classics, and clearly a must for lovers of Bach's music.
1Jesu, Der Du Meine Seele, BWV78: Coro
2Jesu, Der Du Meine Seele, BWV78: Aria, Duetto
3Jesu, Der Du Meine Seele, BWV78: Recitativo
4Jesu, Der Du Meine Seele, BWV78: Aria
5Jesu, Der Du Meine Seele, BWV78: Recitativo
6Jesu, Der Du Meine Seele, BWV78: Aria
7Jesu, Der Du Meine Seele, BWV78: Choral
8Nach Dir, Herr, Verlanget Mich, BWV150: Sinfonia
9Nach Dir, Herr, Verlanget Mich, BWV150: Coro
10Nach Dir, Herr, Verlanget Mich, BWV150: Aria
11Nach Dir, Herr, Verlanget Mich, BWV150: Tutti
12Nach Dir, Herr, Verlanget Mich, BWV150: Aria
13Nach Dir, Herr, Verlanget Mich, BWV150: Coro
14Nach Dir, Herr, Verlanget Mich, BWV150: Ciaconna
15Herz und Mund und Tat und Lebe, BWV147: Chorus
16Nach Dir, Herr, Verlanget Mich, BWV150: Recitativo
17Nach Dir, Herr, Verlanget Mich, BWV150: Aria
18Nach Dir, Herr, Verlanget Mich, BWV150: Recitativo
19Nach Dir, Herr, Verlanget Mich, BWV150: Aria
20Nach Dir, Herr, Verlanget Mich, BWV150: Choral
21Nach Dir, Herr, Verlanget Mich, BWV150: Aria
22Nach Dir, Herr, Verlanget Mich, BWV150: Recitativo
23Nach Dir, Herr, Verlanget Mich, BWV150: Aria
24Nach Dir, Herr, Verlanget Mich, BWV150: Choral
Error on this page? Let us know here
Need more information on this product? Click here