Bach Cantatas Vol 20

SDG 153  |  2 CD (36 tracks)

For Septuagesima
BWV 144 / 84 / 92

For Sexagesima
BWV 18 / 181 / 126

Recorded in Naarden / Southwell

Miah Persson / Gillian Keith / Angharad Gruffydd Jones / Wilke te Brummelstroete / Robin Tyson /
James Oxley / James Gilchrist / Jonathan Brown / Stephan Loges

The Monteverdi Choir
The English Baroque Soloists
John Eliot Gardiner

"The standards of performance and presentation are as high in this latest instalment of Gardiner’s cantata cycle as they have been in previous issues. The series continues its impressive progress" - Music Web International

A double album featuring cantatas for the second and third Sunday before Lent, recorded live in February 2000.

The Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists, under the direction of John Eliot Gardiner, perform in Naarden, Holland for a performance of Bach’s cantatas for Septuagesima. The programme opens with Bach’s first Leipzig cycle, BWV 144 Nimm, was dein ist, und gehe hin - a cantata encapsulated by the moral drawn by Bach’s librettist from the Gospel for the day: accept and be satisfied with your lot, however unfair it may seem at the time. Following the magnificent bold and uncompromising opening, the moral of the cantata is beautifully portrayed in Murre nicht, lieber Christ - an aria set as a minuet for alto over a pulsating string accompaniment to represent the mutterings of dissatisfied Christians. In contrast, the engaging five-movement work for solo soprano, oboe and strings, BWV 84 Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke, has no mention of the disgruntled work-force, but only of being ‘content with my good fortune that dear God bestows on me.’ Gardiner stresses this sentiment by making the choir sing the final chorale Ich leb indes in dir vergnüget (‘I live meanwhile content in thee’) a cappella and quietly. ‘I found it very affecting’, writes Gardiner. The programme ends with the third of Bach’s surviving cantatas for this Sunday, BWV 92 Ich hab in Gottes Herz und Sinn. Unlike the previous two cantatas, the text does not relate specifically to either of the appointed Bible readings, but asks the congregation to surrender to God’s heart and mind and to trust in Him through good and ill.

We then head to Southwell Minster for Bach’s cantatas for Sexagesima, three of his most original and startlingly different pre-Lenten cantatas. Each of these cantatas is characterised by Bach’s vivid pictorial imagination, an arresting sense of drama, and by music of freshness and power that lodges in the memory. The first two focus upon the Gospel theme of the day - (the parable of the sower (Luke 8: 4-15) - superbly exemplified in BWV 18 Gleichwie der Regen und Schnee vom Himmel fällt where Bach adds two extra viola parts to the score. The magically dark-hued sonority four violas bring stresses the overwhelming power of the Word and forms ‘an ideal seed-bed in which God’s word may germinate and prosper.’ Equally vivid and brilliant is BWV 181 Leichtgesinnte Flattergeister where, in contrast to BWV 18, Bach focuses upon those superficial, fickle people who devour the seed that ‘fell by the wayside’.

We end with BWV 126 Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort, a cantata that places emphasis upon the wonder and majesty of God’s Word. ‘Erhalt uns, Herr’ (‘Uphold us, Lord’) exalt the trumpet and voices in the opening chorus, reminding the congregation that ‘God’s throne cannot be budged’.


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Tracks in the album:

Disc 1
Cantata "Nimm, was dein ist, und gehe hin" BWV 144
011. Coro - Nimm, was dein ist, und gehe hin1:38
022. Aria (Alto) Murre nicht, lieber Christ5:19
033. Choral - Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan0:46
044. Recitativo (Tenor) Wo die Genügsamkeit regiert0:52
055. Aria (Soprano) Genügsamkeit ist ein Schatz in diesem Leben2:%3
066. Choral - Was mein Gott will, das g'scheh allzeit1:12
Cantata "Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke" BWV 84
071. Aria (Soprano) Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke5:34
082. Recitativo (Soprano) Gott ist mir ja nichts schuldig1:20
093. Aria (Soprano) Ich esse mit Freuden mein weniges Brot4:13
104. Recitativo (Soprano) Im Schweisse meines Angesichts0:52
115. Choral - Ich leb indes in dir vergnüget1:00
Cantata "Ich hab in Gottes Herz und Sinn" BWV 92
121. Coro (Choral) Ich hab in Gottes Herz und Sinn5:33
132. Choral e Recitativo (Bass) Es kann mir fehlen nimmermehr!3:27
143. Aria (Tenor) Seht, seht! wie reisst, wie bricht, wie fällt2:50
154. Choral (Alto) Zudem ist Weisheit und Verstand3:08
165. Recitativo (Tenor) Wir wollen nun nicht länger zagen1:12
176. Aria (Bass) Das Brausen von den rauen Winden4:21
187. Choral e Recitativo (Sorpano, Alto, Tenor, Bass) Ei nun, mein Gott, so fall ich dir2:15
198. Aria (Soprano) Meinem Hirten bleib ich treu3:32
209. Choral - Soll ich denn auch des Todes Weg1:20

Disc 2
Cantata "Gleichwie der Regen und Schnee vom Himmel fällt" BWV 18
011. Sinfonia3:16
022. Recitativo (Bass) Gleichwie der Regen und Schnee vom Himmel fällt1:08
033. Recitativo e Litania (Tenor, Bass) Mein Gott, hier wird mein Herze sein5:16
044. Aria (Soprano) Mein Seelenschatz ist Gottes Wort2:43
055. Choral - Ich bitt, o Herr, aus Herzens Grund1:09
Cantata "Leichtgesinnte Flattergeister" BWV 181
061. Aria (Bass) Leichtgesinnte Flattergeister2:47
072. Recitativo (Alto) O unglücksel'ger Stand verkehrter Seelen1:36
083. Aria (Tenor) Der schädlichen Dornen unendliche Zahl2:37
094. Recitativo (Soprano) Von diesen wird die Kraft erstickt0:40
105. Coro - Lass, Höchster, uns zu allen Zeiten4:14
Cantata "Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort" BWV 126
111. Coro (Choral) Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort2:23
122. Aria (Tenor) Sende deine Macht von oben3:48
133. Recitativo e Choral (Alto, Tenor) Der Menschen Gunst und Macht wird wenig nützen2:13
144. Aria (Bass) Stürze zu Boden, schwülstige Stolze!5:07
155. Recitativo (Tenor) So wird dein Wort und Wahrheit offenbar0:55
166. Choral - Verleih uns Frieden gnädiglich2:06

Total Playing Time: 1:35:25