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Bach: Motets BWV 225-231, Cantatas

Johann Sebastian Bach , John Eliot Gardiner , Gillian Fisher , Elisabeth Priday , Richard Savage , Ashley Stafford , Neil McKenzie , English Baroque Soloists , Monteverdi Choir Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Performer: Johann Sebastian Bach, John Eliot Gardiner, Gillian Fisher, Elisabeth Priday, Richard Savage, et al.
  • Audio CD (April 13, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Alliance
  • ASIN: B000005E9X
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #270,929 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Motet: Komm, Jesu, komm (BWV 229)
2. Cantata: O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht (BWV 118)
3. Motets: Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf (BWV 226)
4. Motets: Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden (BWV 230)
5. Motets: Sei Lob und Preis mit Ehren (BWV 231)
6. Motets: Der Gerechte kommt um
7. Motets: Furchte dich nicht (BWV 228)
Disc: 2
1. Motets: Jesu, meine Freude (BWV 227)
2. Motets: Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied (BWV 225)
3. Cantata: Nun ist das Heil und die Kraft (BWV 50)

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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars centerpiece for choir lovers March 29, 2000
If you love J.S. Bach, if you love choir music, this double CD is an essential purchase. Get a taste, try "Komm, Jesu, Komm". It's built in several parts; each takes you to a higher level, and after the sequence ("du bist der rechte Weg...") which gets me high each time I hear it, the motet ends with a lovely aria. But then, there's so much more to discover here! Gardiner and the Monteverdi choir are the reference level. However, be aware that this CD could suddenly dissappear from the market (in Germany, it has). Don't hesitate: this is a must for all lovers of the b-minor Mass and St. Matthew's Passion where choir music also plays a prominent role.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a voice teacher and early music fan July 21, 2007
BWV225,226,228 and 229 are the four motets which have survived to our day. This quartet along with the five-part'Jesu, meine Freude' and the four-part 'Lobet, den Herrn' are traditionally assumed to form the total extent of Bach's surviving motets.

As stated in the liner notes: "Taken together these motets and quasi-motets form one of the peaks of Bach's art as a composer of choral music. Through their compression and complexity, they make colossal demands of those who perform them: exceptional virutosity, stamina and sensitivity to the abrupt changes of mood and texture. They never cease to fascinate on account of their skillful use of fugue, canon and counterpoint. But most of all they can touch the listener as well as the performer, revealing Bach's compassionate nature, his dance-like joy in the praise of God and his total certitude in the contemplation of death."

And what better choir than the Monteverdi Singers to deliver this great music of Bach?! They are truly remarkable on this disc: emotionally inspiring, technically efficient, nigh unto perpect diction and all with that wonderfully buoyant sound that is uniquely there's. In addition, the English Baroque soloists do an efficient job of supporting the choir.

As to the performance of the vocal soloists in BWV 227, one can only say that for the most part they were excellent; I really liked the two sopranos (Eliz. Priday and Gillian Fisher) and mildly objected to using Ashley Stafford as countertenor instead of Michael Chance who had just begun (1980) his several years with the Choir. That is strictly a personal preference on my part; I just find Stafford's voice not formidable enough for a solo part.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eat your heart out, Marilyn Manson April 16, 2006
This was the first CD I ever bought, back when CD players were still cutting-edge technology. Now, more than a decade later, I still listen to it regularly.

In fact, this CD ranks as my all-time favorite for playing at ear-bud volume while rocketing down the highway. My apologies to the Seattle police -- and to the millions of kids who will never know that Bach's Motets kick industrial metal's ass (and just about everything else) when it comes to pure emotional transcendence.
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8 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece of choral artistry May 14, 2003
Not only is the composer Johann Sebastian Bach, but John Eliot Gardiner has interpreted him in very fine fashion.
Among the works featured in this album are ensemble pieces of four-part harmony, but there are polyphonic sequences, and sequences featuring solo singers.
This is a double disk album, making it especially valuable.
The choir has excellent diction, all in German. There is a strong, clear soprano section enabling a flexible, versatile dynamic range. The basses and tenors are similarly skilled.
Incidental music is unobtrusive and enhances the choral presentation.
The overall effect is awe-inspiring and elevating.
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