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Sabine Devieilhe|Bach & Handel

Bach & Handel

Sabine Devieilhe, Pygmalion, Raphaël Pichon

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"It almost felt like we were sneaking in, the Pygmalion ensemble and I, that week in December 2020 as we walked through the great door of the church where we were recording. Travel permits and test results were no match for the magic of this music. Bach and Handel sound so soothingly familiar. With this programme, we wanted to express sorrow, repentance, joy and desire through the secular and sacred scores of these two composers. From Cleopatra to the character of the Sinner in the cantata BWV 199, the tears flow, and the soul seeks rest".

They are numerous, these works set against a background of pandemics, to have marked thus the albums recorded these last months. Sabine Devieilhe's words from the cover sum up the spirit of catharsis in which the soprano and the Ensemble Pygmalion have recorded this programme. Here we will find Bach's religious cantatas Mein Herze schwimmt in Blut, BWV 199 (literally ‘My heart is bathed in blood’) and Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, BWV 51 (‘Exalt in God in all lands’), as well as excerpts from Handel's oratorios Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno, HWV 46a and Brockes Passion, HWV 48 and from his opera Giulio Cesare in Egitto, HWV 17.

Raphaël Pichon conducts a Pygmalion alert to the sharp entries, drawn out by Sabine Devieilhe's heartbreaking, sublime voice. The emphasis is on the theatrical impact of the texts; this is particularly compelling in the cantata Mein Herz schwimmt in Blut. Devieilhe was not wrong when she said that "the tears flow and the soul seeks rest". One can sense the precision of the work undertaken for the timbre of each instrument, in particular for the organ which explores unexpected but pleasant tones in its sharp upper register.

The performance of baritone Stéphane Degout—who joins the ensemble for the duet “Soll mein Kind, mein Leben sterben / Ja, ich sterbe dir zu gut” taken from the  Brockes-Passion—is, however, less convincing, but perhaps this is due to Devieilhe's sunlit presence that is difficult to rival. © Pierre Lamy/Qobuz

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Bach & Handel

Sabine Devieilhe

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Schemellis Musicalisches Gesang-Buch, BWV 487 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

1
Mein Jesu! was vor Seelenweh
00:03:11

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Pygmalion, Ensemble - Raphaël Pichon, Conductor - Sabine Devieilhe, Soprano Vocals, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Association Ensemble Pygmalion under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited

Wir mussen durch viel Trubsal, BWV 146 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

2
No. 1, Sinfonia
00:07:09

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Pygmalion, Ensemble - Raphaël Pichon, Conductor - Sabine Devieilhe, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Association Ensemble Pygmalion under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited

Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut, BWV 199 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

3
No. 1, Rezitativ. "Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut"
00:02:12

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Pygmalion, Ensemble - Raphaël Pichon, Conductor - Sabine Devieilhe, Soprano Vocals, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Association Ensemble Pygmalion under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited

4
No. 2, Aria. "Stumme Seufzer, stille Klagen"
00:08:10

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Pygmalion, Ensemble - Raphaël Pichon, Conductor - Sabine Devieilhe, Soprano Vocals, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Association Ensemble Pygmalion under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited

5
No. 3, Rezitativ. "Doch Gott muss mir genädig sein"
00:01:12

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Pygmalion, Ensemble - Raphaël Pichon, Conductor - Sabine Devieilhe, Soprano Vocals, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Association Ensemble Pygmalion under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited

6
No. 4, Aria. "Tief gebückt und voller Reue"
00:07:58

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Pygmalion, Ensemble - Raphaël Pichon, Conductor - Sabine Devieilhe, Soprano Vocals, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Association Ensemble Pygmalion under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited

7
No. 5, Rezitativ. "Auf diese Schmerzensreu"
00:00:20

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Pygmalion, Ensemble - Raphaël Pichon, Conductor - Sabine Devieilhe, Soprano Vocals, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Association Ensemble Pygmalion under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited

8
No. 6, Choral. "Ich, dein betrübtes Kind"
00:02:00

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Pygmalion, Ensemble - Raphaël Pichon, Conductor - Sabine Devieilhe, Soprano Vocals, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Association Ensemble Pygmalion under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited

9
No. 7, Rezitativ. "Ich lege mich in diese Wunden"
00:00:56

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Pygmalion, Ensemble - Raphaël Pichon, Conductor - Sabine Devieilhe, Soprano Vocals, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Association Ensemble Pygmalion under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited

10
No. 8, Aria. "Wie freudig ist mein Herz"
00:02:25

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Pygmalion, Ensemble - Raphaël Pichon, Conductor - Sabine Devieilhe, Soprano Vocals, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Association Ensemble Pygmalion under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited

Brockes-Passion, HWV 48 (Georg Friedrich Händel)

11
No. 40a, Recitativ. "Ach Gott! mein Sohn wird fortgeschleppt" (Maria)
00:01:21

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Pygmalion, Ensemble - Raphaël Pichon, Conductor - Sabine Devieilhe, Soprano Vocals, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Association Ensemble Pygmalion under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited

12
No. 40b, Duet. "Soll mein Kind, mein Leben sterben" - "Ja, Ich sterbe dir zu gut" (Maria, Jesus)
00:02:32

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Stéphane Degout, Baritone Vocals, FeaturedArtist - Pygmalion, Ensemble - Raphaël Pichon, Conductor - Sabine Devieilhe, Soprano Vocals, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Association Ensemble Pygmalion under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited

Giulio Cesare in Egitto, HWV 17 (Georg Friedrich Händel)

13
Act II: "Che sento? O dio!" (Cleopatra)
00:01:01

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Nicola Francesco Haym, Poet - Pygmalion, Ensemble - Raphaël Pichon, Conductor - Sabine Devieilhe, Soprano Vocals, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Association Ensemble Pygmalion under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited

14
Act II: "Se pietà di me non senti" (Cleopatra)
00:08:09

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Nicola Francesco Haym, Poet - Pygmalion, Ensemble - Raphaël Pichon, Conductor - Sabine Devieilhe, Soprano Vocals, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Association Ensemble Pygmalion under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited

Brockes-Passion, HWV 48 (Georg Friedrich Händel)

15
No. 42b, Aria. "Hier erstarrt mein Herz und Blut" (Gläubige Seele)
00:01:54

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Pygmalion, Ensemble - Raphaël Pichon, Conductor - Sabine Devieilhe, Soprano Vocals, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Association Ensemble Pygmalion under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited

16
No. 42c, Recitativ. "O Anblick, o entsetzliches Gesicht" (Gläubige Seele)
00:01:19

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Pygmalion, Ensemble - Raphaël Pichon, Conductor - Sabine Devieilhe, Soprano Vocals, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Association Ensemble Pygmalion under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited

Giulio Cesare in Egitto, HWV 17 (Georg Friedrich Händel)

17
Act III: "Piangerò la sorte mia" (Cleopatra)
00:06:03

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Nicola Francesco Haym, Poet - Pygmalion, Ensemble - Raphaël Pichon, Conductor - Sabine Devieilhe, Soprano Vocals, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Association Ensemble Pygmalion under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited

Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno, HWV 46a (Georg Friedrich Händel)

18
"Pure del cielo intelligenze eterne" (Bellezza)
00:01:19

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Pygmalion, Ensemble - Raphaël Pichon, Conductor - Benedetto Pamphili, Poet - Sabine Devieilhe, Soprano Vocals, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Association Ensemble Pygmalion under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited

19
"Tu del ciel ministro eletto" (Bellezza)
00:06:36

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Pygmalion, Ensemble - Raphaël Pichon, Conductor - Benedetto Pamphili, Poet - Sabine Devieilhe, Soprano Vocals, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Association Ensemble Pygmalion under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited

Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, BWV 51 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

20
No. 1, Aria. "Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen"
00:04:29

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Pygmalion, Ensemble - Raphaël Pichon, Conductor - Sabine Devieilhe, Soprano Vocals, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Association Ensemble Pygmalion under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited

21
No. 2, Rezitativ. "Wir beten zu dem Tempel an"
00:02:12

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Pygmalion, Ensemble - Raphaël Pichon, Conductor - Sabine Devieilhe, Soprano Vocals, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Association Ensemble Pygmalion under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited

22
No. 3, Aria. "Höchster, mach deine Güte"
00:04:49

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Pygmalion, Ensemble - Raphaël Pichon, Conductor - Sabine Devieilhe, Soprano Vocals, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Association Ensemble Pygmalion under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited

23
No. 4, Choral. "Sei Lob und Preis mit Ehren"
00:03:46

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Pygmalion, Ensemble - Raphaël Pichon, Conductor - Sabine Devieilhe, Soprano Vocals, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Association Ensemble Pygmalion under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited

24
No. 5, Aria. "Alleluja!"
00:02:23

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Pygmalion, Ensemble - Raphaël Pichon, Conductor - Sabine Devieilhe, Soprano Vocals, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Association Ensemble Pygmalion under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited

Album Description

"It almost felt like we were sneaking in, the Pygmalion ensemble and I, that week in December 2020 as we walked through the great door of the church where we were recording. Travel permits and test results were no match for the magic of this music. Bach and Handel sound so soothingly familiar. With this programme, we wanted to express sorrow, repentance, joy and desire through the secular and sacred scores of these two composers. From Cleopatra to the character of the Sinner in the cantata BWV 199, the tears flow, and the soul seeks rest".

They are numerous, these works set against a background of pandemics, to have marked thus the albums recorded these last months. Sabine Devieilhe's words from the cover sum up the spirit of catharsis in which the soprano and the Ensemble Pygmalion have recorded this programme. Here we will find Bach's religious cantatas Mein Herze schwimmt in Blut, BWV 199 (literally ‘My heart is bathed in blood’) and Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, BWV 51 (‘Exalt in God in all lands’), as well as excerpts from Handel's oratorios Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno, HWV 46a and Brockes Passion, HWV 48 and from his opera Giulio Cesare in Egitto, HWV 17.

Raphaël Pichon conducts a Pygmalion alert to the sharp entries, drawn out by Sabine Devieilhe's heartbreaking, sublime voice. The emphasis is on the theatrical impact of the texts; this is particularly compelling in the cantata Mein Herz schwimmt in Blut. Devieilhe was not wrong when she said that "the tears flow and the soul seeks rest". One can sense the precision of the work undertaken for the timbre of each instrument, in particular for the organ which explores unexpected but pleasant tones in its sharp upper register.

The performance of baritone Stéphane Degout—who joins the ensemble for the duet “Soll mein Kind, mein Leben sterben / Ja, ich sterbe dir zu gut” taken from the  Brockes-Passion—is, however, less convincing, but perhaps this is due to Devieilhe's sunlit presence that is difficult to rival. © Pierre Lamy/Qobuz

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