Johann Sebastian Bach Cantatas Barbara Hendricks Peter SchreierBach. Kantaten (Cantatas)

Barbara Hendricks, soprano
Håkan Hardenberger, trumpet

Kammerorchester C. P. E. Bach
Peter Schreier, conductor

EMI, 1989

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This album is simply entitled Bach. Kantaten and collects three Cantatas and an aria by Johann Sebastian Bach, all composed around the last Twenties and early Thirties of the 18th century. They are: Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, BWV 51, composed for the Trinity Sunday of 1730, Ich habe genug, BWV 82, composed for the Feast of the Purification (1727), Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten, BWV 202, written for a wedding, presumably before 1730, and an aria (no. 9) from Was mir behagt, BWV 208, also known as “Hunting Cantata”, composed to celebrate the birthday of Duke Christian of Saxe-Weissenfels. They are performed here by soprano Barbara Hendricks, trumpeter Håkan Hardenberger and conductor Peter Schreier, who leads (not by chance) the Kammerorchester C. P. E. Bach.

Barbara Hendricks is at her best and fits perfectly this repertoire thanks to her silvery voice and gorgeous technique, which permits her to do what she wants. She is remarkable especially for her long breaths and consequent easiness in coloratura (listen for example to the Alleluja which ends the first Cantata), her wonderful phrasing and above all her grace. I cannot say she conveys any particular feeling in these Cantatas and, in a certain sense, she never appears overwhelmed by the flood of Bach’s music, but nonetheless she is never indifferent. Her Cantatas may be appropriately defined ethereal rather than thrilling and sometimes this approach tends to cancel the differences between the arias, but the result remains absolutely positive.

Conductor Peter Schereier, does not impressed me very much and actually I do not find anything except “good” and “correct” to qualify his test.

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