Johann Sebastian Bach, Bach Collegium Japan, Masaaki Suzuki - Cantatas 24

Published Wednesday 1st September 2004
Johann Sebastian Bach, Bach Collegium Japan, Masaaki Suzuki - Cantatas 24
Johann Sebastian Bach, Bach Collegium Japan, Masaaki Suzuki - Cantatas 24

STYLE: Choral
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 10253-
LABEL: BIS BISCD1351
FORMAT: CD Album

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

In some ways this review is superfluous: those who are keen on Johann Sebastian will have been following this series for several years and are likely to continue. Those just beginning to explore Bach may prefer to start elsewhere. However, Bach is a genius and is always accessible so one could argue that this is a perfectly good place to start. The three cantatas on this CD (BWV 8, 33 and 113) take us into August and September of 1724, and thus into the second year of Bach's tenure as Thomaskantor in Leipzig. This is the period known as the chorale cantata year when Bach based his cantatas around well known hymns rather than the traditional gospel readings. For a better understanding of what Bach was attempting I refer you to Klaus Hofmann's helpful essay within the CD booklet. Staying with the music, this is typical Bach: melodic, harmonious, thoughtful. The conductor, orchestra and soprano soloist are Japanese, the three male soloists are European and all blend together seamlessly. I expect Johann Sebastian, who was no traveller, would be pleased to know that his music is being kept alive such a long way from Leipzig.

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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