3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HIPster Wars - News from the Bach Front - Communiqué 27
, April 1, 2012
This review is from: Bach Cantatas, Vol. 18 - For Christmas Day; For the Feast of Epiphany; For the First Sunday after Epiphany (Audio CD)
Not before time, the Paraclete has finally landed on that famous beatnik mop of hair. Yes indeed: Jeggy has surpassed himself here and by a wide margin. I laboriously prised Volume 18 from the library in the expectation it would be another instalment of `brisk efficiency' - how wrong I was. Fair dinkum this is easily among his best recordings ever.
Mind you, the card does not hurt Jeggy's cause. The first dance of the night is a bona fide masterpiece: Christen, ätzet diesen Tag" (the other cantatas are fine works but not quite on this level). BWV 63 could so easily be the seventh instalment of the Christmas Oratorio (and in passing, all the cantatas here are yuletide works). Even if the text were to be reduced to wordless melismas, one would instinctively look to Bethlehem for its inspiration. What a work and what a performance! Credit should also be given to the soloists who are invariably excellent. Claron McFadden sings like an angel in the recitativo `Alt O sel'ger Tag (her shadings are exquisite) and much the same could be said of Magdalena Kozená in the other cantatas (on her tone alone, one can semi-understand why Sir Simon Rattle decided to `broaden' the conjugal load).
There is no sense here that Jeggy is jauntily skating over a spiritual experience: it's thrilling, gutsy, reverential and majestic all at once; for instance, the earlier version of the Gloria from the Mass in B Minor (BWV 191) has more 'spiritual ooze' to its name than the DG recording from 1985. Odd, isn't it? I am at a loss to explain why Jeggy is so attuned to the marrow of these works whereas the connection is so fitful elsewhere. The English Baroque Soloists play for all their worth and (thankfully) then some more and the recording is well and truly in the demonstration class.
What a pity that every instalment of Jeggy's Bach Pilgrimage is not cut from the same cloth.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you?