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Joanne Lunn - Bach, J.S.: Cantatas, Vol. 19  - Bwv 3, 13, 14, 26, 81, 155, 227

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Bach, J.S.: Cantatas, Vol. 19 - Bwv 3, 13, 14, 26, 81, 155, 227

John Eliot Gardiner

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The "Bach Pilgrimage" of conductor John Eliot Gardiner, with his English Baroque Soloists and Monteverdi Choir, is among the most ambitious musical projects of recent decades: a concert tour devoted to Bach's complete church cantatas, matched to the liturgical year in something like real time, and passing through the cities where Bach lived and worked but also stopping in churches in other countries. The funding itself was a minor miracle. His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, is the first name listed, but corporations also kicked in, and individual donors could help out with single concerts along the way. The recordings designate themselves as live; actually, they represent final dress rehearsals rather than concert performances, but they have that edge-of-the-chair quality that dress rehearsals sometimes attain, and they're not marred by coughs, creaking pews, and doors opening and closing. The performances are, furthermore, not perfect. In this two-disc set of Epiphany cantatas, rounded out by the motet Jesu, meine Freude, soprano Joanne Lunn is severely challenged by the devilish (sorry, JSB, but that's the right word) quick-triplet mode mixtures in the "Wirf, mein Herze" aria in the Mein Gott, wie lang, ach lange?, BWV 155 (CD 1, track 4). Gardiner's overall treatment of the cantatas is quiet and reverential, and he can go to extremes in pursuit of this ideal; the bass aria "Ächzen und erbärmlich Weinen" (Groaning and pitiable weeping) in the cantata Meine Seufzer, meine Tränen, BWV 13 (My sighs, my tears) is taken at a grindingly slow tempo and extended to a 10-and-a-half-minute length. Gardiner justifies this decision with reference to symbols of the Cross he finds in the score -- always a risky business. Any complaints one might have, however, are swept aside by the great virtue of these performances -- the intensity of the performers' response to the texts. Gardiner seems to put himself in Bach's shoes as Bach sought to find individual meaning in well-worn Lutheran texts. His observations, expressed in a sort of road diary that serves as booklet notes, are acute, and people will be reading them a century hence to find out what Bach meant to listeners of the early twenty-first century. (They're admirably personal and colloquial -- if you've ever wondered how to say "hair shirt" in German, you can find out from the booklet here.) What's really remarkable, however, is the way Gardiner has involved his performers in his creative response to the texts. The performance of Jesu, meine Freude at the end of disc 2 is one of the very best ever recorded, with absolute conviction from the Monteverdi Choir in singing lines like "Lass den Satan wittern" (Let Satan storm). Those who approach Bach's cantatas from a specifically religious perspective may well find these performances definitive, and they are, from any perspective at all, documents of extraordinary commitment and musical enthusiasm.
© TiVo

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Bach, J.S.: Cantatas, Vol. 19 - Bwv 3, 13, 14, 26, 81, 155, 227

Joanne Lunn

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Mein Gott, wie lang, ach lange, BWV 155 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

1
Recitative: Mein Gott, wie lang, ach lange? (Soprano)
00:01:55

Julian Podger, Artist - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gerald Finley, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Richard Wyn Roberts, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

2
Aria Duet: Du musst glauben, du musst hoffen (Alto, Tenor)
00:04:32

Julian Podger, Artist - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gerald Finley, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Richard Wyn Roberts, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

3
Recitative: So sei, o Seele, sei zufrieden! (Bass)
00:02:09

Julian Podger, Artist - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gerald Finley, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Richard Wyn Roberts, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

4
Aria: Wirf mein Herze, wirf dich noch (Soprano)
00:02:06

Julian Podger, Artist - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gerald Finley, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Richard Wyn Roberts, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

5
Chorale: Ob sichs anliess, als wollt er nicht
00:00:53

Julian Podger, Artist - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gerald Finley, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Richard Wyn Roberts, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid, BWV 3 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

6
Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid (Chorus)
00:05:56

Julian Podger, Artist - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gerald Finley, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Richard Wyn Roberts, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

7
Recitative and Chorale: Wie schwerlich lasst sich Fleisch und Blut
00:02:11

Julian Podger, Artist - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gerald Finley, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Richard Wyn Roberts, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

8
Aria: Empfind ich Hollenangst und Pein (Bass)
00:06:06

Julian Podger, Artist - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gerald Finley, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Richard Wyn Roberts, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

9
Recitative: Es mag mir Leib und Geist verschmachten (Tenor)
00:00:58

Julian Podger, Artist - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gerald Finley, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Richard Wyn Roberts, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

10
Aria Duet : Wenn Sorgen auf mich dringen (Soprano, Alto)
00:07:01

Julian Podger, Artist - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gerald Finley, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Richard Wyn Roberts, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

11
Chorale: Erhalt mein Herz im Glauben rein
00:00:36

Julian Podger, Artist - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gerald Finley, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Richard Wyn Roberts, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

Meine Seufzer, meine Tranen, BWV 13 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

12
Aria: Meine Seufzer, meine Tranen (Tenor)
00:08:05

Julian Podger, Artist - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gerald Finley, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Richard Wyn Roberts, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

13
Recitative: Mein liebster Gott lasst mich annoch (Alto)
00:00:58

Julian Podger, Artist - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gerald Finley, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Richard Wyn Roberts, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

14
Chorale: Der Gott, der mir hat versprochen (Alto)
00:02:51

Julian Podger, Artist - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gerald Finley, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Richard Wyn Roberts, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

15
Recitative: Mein Kummer nimmet zu (Soprano)
00:01:07

Julian Podger, Artist - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gerald Finley, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Richard Wyn Roberts, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

16
Aria: Achzen und erbarmlich Weinen (Bass)
00:10:38

Julian Podger, Artist - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gerald Finley, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Richard Wyn Roberts, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

17
Chorale; So sei nun, Seele
00:01:01

Julian Podger, Artist - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gerald Finley, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Richard Wyn Roberts, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

DISC 2

Ach wie fluchtig, ach wie nichtig, BWV 26 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

1
Ach wie fluchtig, ach wie nichtig (Chorus)
00:02:35

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Paul Agnew, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Peter Harvey, Artist - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Katherine Fuge, Artist - William Towers, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

2
Aria: So schnell ein rauschend Wasser schiesst (Tenor)
00:07:16

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Paul Agnew, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Peter Harvey, Artist - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Katherine Fuge, Artist - William Towers, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

3
Recitative: Die Freude wird zur Traurigkeit (Alto)
00:00:45

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Paul Agnew, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Peter Harvey, Artist - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Katherine Fuge, Artist - William Towers, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

4
Aria: An irdische Schatze das Herze zu hangen (Bass)
00:03:30

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Paul Agnew, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Peter Harvey, Artist - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Katherine Fuge, Artist - William Towers, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

5
Recitative: Die hochste Herrlichkeit und Pracht (Soprano)
00:00:39

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Paul Agnew, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Peter Harvey, Artist - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Katherine Fuge, Artist - William Towers, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

6
Chorale: Ach wie fluchtig, ach wie nichtig
00:00:37

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Paul Agnew, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Peter Harvey, Artist - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Katherine Fuge, Artist - William Towers, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

Jesus schläft, was soll ich hoffen, BWV 81 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

7
Aria: Jesus schlaft, was soll ich hoffen? (Alto)
00:04:41

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Paul Agnew, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Peter Harvey, Artist - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Katherine Fuge, Artist - William Towers, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

8
Recitative: Herr, warum trittest du so ferne? (Tenor)
00:01:03

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Paul Agnew, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Peter Harvey, Artist - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Katherine Fuge, Artist - William Towers, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

9
Aria: Die schaumenden Wellen von Belials Bachen (Tenor)
00:02:48

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Paul Agnew, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Peter Harvey, Artist - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Katherine Fuge, Artist - William Towers, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

10
Arioso: Ihr Kleinglaubigen, warum seid ihr so furchtsam? (Bass)
00:01:05

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Paul Agnew, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Peter Harvey, Artist - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Katherine Fuge, Artist - William Towers, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

11
Aria: Schweig, aufgeturmtes Meer! (Bass)
00:05:01

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Paul Agnew, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Peter Harvey, Artist - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Katherine Fuge, Artist - William Towers, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

12
Recitative: Wohl mir, mein Jesus spricht ein Wort (Alto)
00:00:22

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Paul Agnew, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Peter Harvey, Artist - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Katherine Fuge, Artist - William Towers, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

13
Chorale: Unter deinen Schirmen
00:01:09

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Paul Agnew, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Peter Harvey, Artist - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Katherine Fuge, Artist - William Towers, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

War Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit, BWV 14 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

14
War Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit (Chorus)
00:04:45

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Paul Agnew, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Peter Harvey, Artist - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Katherine Fuge, Artist - William Towers, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

15
Aria: Unsre Starke heisst zu schwach (Soprano)
00:04:20

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Paul Agnew, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Peter Harvey, Artist - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Katherine Fuge, Artist - William Towers, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

16
Recitative: Ja, hatt ess Gott nur zugegeben (Tenor)
00:00:39

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Paul Agnew, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Peter Harvey, Artist - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Katherine Fuge, Artist - William Towers, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

17
Aria: Gott, bei deinem starken Schutzen (Bass)
00:03:59

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Paul Agnew, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Peter Harvey, Artist - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Katherine Fuge, Artist - William Towers, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

18
Chorale: Gott Lob und Dank
00:00:52

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Paul Agnew, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Peter Harvey, Artist - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Katherine Fuge, Artist - William Towers, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

19
Jesu, meine Freude
00:01:12

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Paul Agnew, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Peter Harvey, Artist - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Katherine Fuge, Artist - William Towers, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

20
Es ist nun nichts Verdammliches
00:02:43

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Paul Agnew, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Peter Harvey, Artist - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Katherine Fuge, Artist - William Towers, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

21
Unter deinem Schirmen
00:01:04

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Paul Agnew, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Peter Harvey, Artist - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Katherine Fuge, Artist - William Towers, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

22
Denn das Gesetz des Geistes
00:00:54

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Paul Agnew, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Peter Harvey, Artist - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Katherine Fuge, Artist - William Towers, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

23
Trotz dem alten Drachen
00:02:20

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Paul Agnew, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Peter Harvey, Artist - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Katherine Fuge, Artist - William Towers, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

24
Ihr aber seid nicht fleischlich
00:03:03

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Paul Agnew, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Peter Harvey, Artist - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Katherine Fuge, Artist - William Towers, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

25
Weg mit allen Schatzen!
00:01:08

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Paul Agnew, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Peter Harvey, Artist - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Katherine Fuge, Artist - William Towers, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

26
So aber Christus in euch ist
00:01:59

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Paul Agnew, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Peter Harvey, Artist - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Katherine Fuge, Artist - William Towers, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

27
Gute Nacht, o Wesen
00:03:47

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Paul Agnew, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Peter Harvey, Artist - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Katherine Fuge, Artist - William Towers, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

28
So nun der Geist
00:01:25

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Paul Agnew, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Peter Harvey, Artist - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Katherine Fuge, Artist - William Towers, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

29
Weicht, ihr Trauergeister
00:01:22

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Paul Agnew, Artist - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Ensemble - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Peter Harvey, Artist - Joanne Lunn, Artist, MainArtist - Katherine Fuge, Artist - William Towers, Artist

(C) 2000 SDG (P) 2000 SDG

Album Description

The "Bach Pilgrimage" of conductor John Eliot Gardiner, with his English Baroque Soloists and Monteverdi Choir, is among the most ambitious musical projects of recent decades: a concert tour devoted to Bach's complete church cantatas, matched to the liturgical year in something like real time, and passing through the cities where Bach lived and worked but also stopping in churches in other countries. The funding itself was a minor miracle. His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, is the first name listed, but corporations also kicked in, and individual donors could help out with single concerts along the way. The recordings designate themselves as live; actually, they represent final dress rehearsals rather than concert performances, but they have that edge-of-the-chair quality that dress rehearsals sometimes attain, and they're not marred by coughs, creaking pews, and doors opening and closing. The performances are, furthermore, not perfect. In this two-disc set of Epiphany cantatas, rounded out by the motet Jesu, meine Freude, soprano Joanne Lunn is severely challenged by the devilish (sorry, JSB, but that's the right word) quick-triplet mode mixtures in the "Wirf, mein Herze" aria in the Mein Gott, wie lang, ach lange?, BWV 155 (CD 1, track 4). Gardiner's overall treatment of the cantatas is quiet and reverential, and he can go to extremes in pursuit of this ideal; the bass aria "Ächzen und erbärmlich Weinen" (Groaning and pitiable weeping) in the cantata Meine Seufzer, meine Tränen, BWV 13 (My sighs, my tears) is taken at a grindingly slow tempo and extended to a 10-and-a-half-minute length. Gardiner justifies this decision with reference to symbols of the Cross he finds in the score -- always a risky business. Any complaints one might have, however, are swept aside by the great virtue of these performances -- the intensity of the performers' response to the texts. Gardiner seems to put himself in Bach's shoes as Bach sought to find individual meaning in well-worn Lutheran texts. His observations, expressed in a sort of road diary that serves as booklet notes, are acute, and people will be reading them a century hence to find out what Bach meant to listeners of the early twenty-first century. (They're admirably personal and colloquial -- if you've ever wondered how to say "hair shirt" in German, you can find out from the booklet here.) What's really remarkable, however, is the way Gardiner has involved his performers in his creative response to the texts. The performance of Jesu, meine Freude at the end of disc 2 is one of the very best ever recorded, with absolute conviction from the Monteverdi Choir in singing lines like "Lass den Satan wittern" (Let Satan storm). Those who approach Bach's cantatas from a specifically religious perspective may well find these performances definitive, and they are, from any perspective at all, documents of extraordinary commitment and musical enthusiasm.
© TiVo

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