La Petite Bande, Sigiswald Kuijken - Das Neugeborne Kindelein

Published Wednesday 14th November 2018
La Petite Bande, Sigiswald Kuijken - Das Neugeborne Kindelein
La Petite Bande, Sigiswald Kuijken - Das Neugeborne Kindelein

STYLE: Choral
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Accent ACC24348

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

Since 1972 Sigiswald Kuijken's La Petite Bande has built both an excellent reputation and discography as Baroque specialists. This collection of Christmas music under review features compositions by three of the masters of the genre: Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707), Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) and Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767). Bach is centre stage in this programme with his Cantata "Ich Freue Mich In Dir" ("I Rejoice In Thee") (BVW 133), Buxtehude opens and closes with his Cantata "Das Neugeborne Kindeleine" ("The Newly Born And Tiny Child") (BuxWV 13) and "In Dulci Jubilo" ("In Quiet Joy") (BuxWV 52), and Telemann bridges the two with a Missa sopra "Ein Kindelein So Lobelich" ("A Most Praiseworthy Little Child") (TWV 9:5) and a Cantata "O Jesu Christ, Dein Kripplein Ist Mein Paradies" ("O Jesus Christ, Thy Manger Is My Paradise") (TVW 1:1200). And here is the rub. Part of my traditional family Christmas always includes listening to a Bach Cantata, sometimes courtesy of Radio 3 or else from my own collection, so I already own the Bach as well as other versions of "In Dulce Jubilo". Do I need more? Probably not and although the performances by the four vocalists and the small orchestra are all creditable they are not sufficiently special to replace what I already have. However, if you are starting to build a Baroque library of your own, Sigiswald Kuijken is a reliable guide and if you want to go deeper into the genre sooner or later you will need to meet Buxtehude and Telemann as well as the immortal Bach. Texts and translations are provided along with a helpful essay by the director and while this cannot be described as an indispensable recording it is well made, well played and well worth hearing.

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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