[ Harmonia Mundi Herreweghe Bach Edition / 3 CD ]
Release Date: Sunday 10 October 2010
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"There is probably no living countertenor whom I would rather hear singing these cantatas than Andreas Scholl. Scholl is on top form in BWV170, paying close attention to the relationship between text and music." (Gramophone)
2010 marked the 40 anniversary of Collegium Vocale Ghent: founded by Philippe Herreweghe at a time when the Baroque revival was still an affair for specialists, the Belgian choir has been at the very heart of the rediscovery of Bach's sacred music. Abundantly illustrated and elegantly presented, these nine CD-books offer you the entire collection of Bach/Herreweghe recordings.
"Forty years after its foundation it's all too easy to take the excellence and consistency of Collegium Vocale Ghent for granted: back in 1970 there wasn't any such ensemble in mainland Europe. Philippe Herreweghe, a psychiatry student, founded CVG to put his ideas into practice…CVG became part of the first complete Bach cantata project for Telefunken, Herreweghe, at hospital in the day, conducting his choir in the evening sessions… Presentation is exemplary: top quality at mid price, and a birthday gift that really will keep on giving." Andrew McGregor, BBC Music Magazine, June 2010
On the Cantatas for Alto:
Scholl possesses what is almost certainly the most naturally beautiful and fluently produced voice of any male alto today.
In these cantatas the ecclesiastical message is of sinfulness, guilt, damnation and redemption. Scholl's attention to the text, to phrasing and to vocal colour ensures this wonderful music comes vividly to life. The music is fascinating and dramatic, running the gamut from simple recitative to ravishing lullaby ("Vergnügte Ruh'!" BWV 170) to coloratura arias ("Mir ekelt mehr zu leben" BWV 170, "Ich wünsche nur bei Gott zu leben" BWV 35) with mini-concertos for organ interwoven into BWV35 and prominent solo parts for organ. At all times Scholl's expressiveness and attention to detail is coupled with impeccable intonation across a wide range and a variety of tonal colour. As a native German speaker the text comes across directly, as if Scholl were addressing you personally.
Herreweghe's leadership is spirited, the Collegium Vocale orchestra plays impeccably, and the organ and harpsichord continuo is a delight.
Tempos are invariably well chosen - the gentle lilt in triple time of the opening of "Vergnügte Ruh'" captures such "contented rest" like no other performance available and the sparkling organ concerto movements of BWV35 are lively and feature sprightly phrasing and fascinating embellishments to the solo parts.
Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust BWV170
Widerstehe doch der Sünde BWV54
Geist und Seele wird verwirret BWV35.
Cantata BWV82 'Ich habe genug'
Cantata BWV56 'Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen'
Cantata BWV158 'Der Friede sei mit dir'
Ich liege und schlafe
Herr, die Wasserströme erheben sich
Gott, sei mir gnädig nach deiner Güte
Dominus illuminatio mea
Wend' ab deinen Zorn, lieber Herr, mit Gnaden
Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott
(all featuring Deborah York, Susan Hamilton, sopranos, Jan Kobow, tenor, Peter Kooy, bass)