Stunningly beautiful beginning
Zechristof | Antonito CO United States | 07/26/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD is a stunningly beautiful beginning to what promises to be a very special traversal of the complete Bach cantata repertoire. Bach is the most spiritual of the best-known composers, and, together with the masses and motets, the cantatas are Bach's most spiritual pieces. Suzuki has assembled an awesome cast of performers. The soloists on this CD are more than adequate, and the male solos are sung with exceptional beauty. These three cantatas barely scratch the surface of the repertoire, but they present Suzuki with the opportunity to showcase the capabilities of his team. His interpretations properly capture the solemnity of BWV#4, an early Bach piece on the theme "Christ lag in Todesbanden". Suzuki is careful to let the complexity and beauty of the music overwhelm us, and not present an overinflated sound. If I could put two words to the effect, I would call the sound "lean" but "vibrant". Suzuki is to Bach cantatas what champagne is to wine. I have enjoyed the Koopman set so far also, but I prefer the spirituality that Suzuki brings to this music. This first volume is really extraordinary."
And away we go!
Zechristof | 11/01/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Volume 1, folks--yes, I plan to buy every single volume. I'm new to Bach's cantatas. I kept putting it off; but in that time, I was researching different performances, sampling this and that. I was tipped off to Suzuki and the Bach Collegium Japan. They rec'd glowing reviews from almost everybody. Sure, an aria is sometimes done better elsewhere. But you know what? I place this series at the very top of the Bach cantatas recordings. The quality is consistently high (judging from the 7 CDs I own which I've listened to over and over. This music is infectious! where have I been all this time!). Under Suzuki's enlightened leadership, they sound like...well, like Bach. (Know what I mean?) Oh sure, sometimes the soprano gets on my nerves a little (BWV 21) (I prefer the Alternate Movements anyway), but that's what, two tracks out of 25? So, if you just want a few CDs of this great Bach music, or if you want to collect the entire set (and it's going to take a while, as they release a volume every couple of months), I heartily recommend Suzuki and the Bach Collegium Japan. More power to them."