Artist: Masaaki Suzuki / Bach Collegium Japan
Title: Bach: Cantatas Vol. 43: Unser Mund sei voll Lachens - Cantatas 57, 110, 151
Year Of Release: 2009
Quality: SACD (DSD64 2.0, DST64 5.0; Image.iso)
Total Time: 62:28 min
Total Size: 2,91 Gb
WebSite: Album Preview
On we go to the 43rd release in this, probably the best series of Bach’s cantatas going, at least in Super Audio. (I still like Gardiner’s series a lot, though it will not be complete.) But Suzuki, far more than chief competitor Ton Koopman, has given us a set for the ages, not only performed with consummate style, historical considerations, and musical substance, but with a feeling for these seminal religious works that transcends the merely mechanical presentation that we so often—too often—hear.
These three pieces are reached through the way-back machine in the year 1725, smack in the middle of Christmas season, enjoyed by Bach and congregants during his third year in Leipzig. The court poet Georg Christian Lehms supplied the texts for these pieces from a collection published in 1711.
No. 110, “Then was our mouth filled with laughter,” was first performed at the early service on Christmas day, celebrating the incarnation of God made man. It is a very festive work whose opening chorus is based on an early version of the fourth orchestral suite, BWV 1069. Flutes, trumpets, and drums grace the various movements in a work of truly joyous provenance. “Blessed is the man” (No. 57) was given the day after Christmas the same year, on the feast that in the West traditionally has been dedicated to St. Stephen the Protomartyr (in the East it is celebrated on the third day after). The texts are taken from the Acts of the Apostles where the stoning of Stephen is writ, and other texts quote Christ’s bemoaning of Jerusalem as a city that persecutes and kills the prophets. Though the ending of the cantata manages a semblance of joy, the overall tone is quite subdued compared to No. 110.
“Sweet consolation, my Jesus is coming” (No. 151) is for the third day following Christmas, with the text referring to the consolation of Jesus’ return. The opening movement is the highlight of this work, and in effect dominates the whole structure. Though abbreviated in text, at eight and one-half minutes it comprises the majority of this cantata, even in five movements. The movement is essentially tripartite in form, with a wonderful 12/8 section serving as bookends, one of the best things Bach ever penned. The last chorale serves as an appropriately uplifting conclusion to the three day Christmas festival.
You might even consider this release as a Christmas gift instead of the usual carols. I sure wouldn’t mind. Standards have not slipped an inch. Easily recommended.
~Steven E. Ritter
UNSER MUND SEI VOLL LACHENS, BWV 110
1. [Chorus]. Unser Mund sei vall Lachens und unsre Zunge
2. Aria (Tenore). lhr Gedanken und ihr Sinnen
3. Recitativo (Basso). Dir, Herr, ist niemand gleich
4. Aria (Alto). Ach Herr, was ist ein Menschenkind
5. Duetto (Soprano, Tenore). Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe und Friede auf
6. Aria (Basso). Wacht auf, ihr Adem und ihr Glieder
7. Choral. Alleluja! Gelobt sei Gott
SELIG IST DER MANN, BWV 57 • Dialogus
8. Aria (Basso). Selig ist der Mann, der die Anfechtung erdu/det
9. Recitativo (Soprano). Ach! dieser süße Trost
10. Aria (Soprano). Ich wUnschte mir den Tod, den Tod
11. Recitativo (Basso, Soprano). Ich reiche dir die Hand
12. Aria (Basso). }a, ja, ich kann die Feinde schlagen
13. Recitativo (Basso, Soprano).In meiner Schoß liegt Ruh und Leben
14. Aria (Soprano). lch ende behnde mein irdisches Leben
15. Choral. Richte dich, Liebste, nach meinem Gefallen und gläube
SÜßER TROST, MEIN JESUS KOMMT, BWV 151
16. Aria (Soprano). Süßer Trost, mein jesus kömmt
17. Recitativo (Basso). Erfreue dich, mein Herz
18. Aria (Alto). In Jesu Demut kann ich Trost
19. Recitativo (Tenore). Du teurer Gottessohn
20. Choral. Heut schleußt er wieder auf die Tür
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