Cantata Series

SDG are the initials that J.S. Bach appended at the end of each of his Cantatas scores. It stands for Soli Deo Gloria, to the Glory of God alone, and signified his deep devotion and his desire to serve God through his music.

These same initials identify our label, which was initially dedicated to the recordings made during the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage. In total SDG released 27 albums, each corresponding to one of the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage’s concerts and including the cantatas Bach wrote for a specific liturgical feast. It is the first time that Bach cantatas are issued on CD in this coupling.

Image Covers
Each release features portrait by photographer Steve McCurry, a celebrated photographic correspondent who is most known for the ‘Afghan girl’ photo which appeared on the cover of National Geographic.

‘McCurry’s pictures are immensely striking: they seemed to provide a potent imagery which perfectly complements that of the music’

Sleeve Notes
During the course of the year 2000, Sir John Eliot Gardiner kept a diary in which he recorded his thoughts and analysis of the music and personal remarks about the events of the tour. Extracts from the diary have been made available to illustrate the Bach Cantatas recordings, thus providing a unique insight of one of the most complicated and exciting musical projects ever.

‘Bach is probably the only composer whose musical output is so rich, so challenging to the performers and so spiritually uplifting to both performer and listener alike, that one would gladly spend a year in his exclusive company. I believe that Bach’s music carries a universal message of hope and faith which can touch anybody, irrespective of their culture, religion or musical knowledge. Taken together his cantatas comprise some of the most consistently beautiful music ever to have been composed, a corpus of work which counts as one of the great glories of European music’
John Eliot Gardiner