J S Bach, Marianne Beate Kielland - Sacred Cantatas For Alto

Published Sunday 1st January 2006
J S Bach, Marianne Beate Kielland - Sacred Cantatas For Alto
J S Bach, Marianne Beate Kielland - Sacred Cantatas For Alto

STYLE: Choral
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 15102-
LABEL: Naxos Vocal Music 8557621
FORMAT: CD Album
ITEMS: 1
RRP: £5.99

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

Bach wrote some 200 cantatas, both sacred and secular, so there are many ways of compiling collections. The five on this disc all feature that most neglected of voices, the alto but the young Norwegian mezzo-soprano Marianne Beate Kielland leaves us wanting more. She has a beautiful voice, as smooth and dark as the finest coffee, and is the perfect choice for these cantatas where she is ably backed by the Cologne Bach Choir and the Cologne Chamber Orchestra conducted by Helmut Müller-Brühl. Of particular interest here are "Vergnügte Ruh" / "Happy Rest" (BVW 170), where for the first time Bach uses the organ as an obbligato instrument given its own line, and the poignant "Widerstehe doch der Sünde" / "Yet Resist Sin" (BVW 54) with its clear denunciation and rejection of sin. With both John Eliot Gardiner and Masaaki Suzuki bringing out Bach Cantatas at a steady pace this CD faces some serious competition. The performances are certainly as good as any and at its Naxos price it is excellent value, even if the packaging is cheap and cheerful. But ultimately, as with all Bach recordings, it is the music that counts.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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