martedì 22 luglio 2014

J.S.Bach - Oster Oratorium, BWV 249

17 tracks - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 107Mb

Bach's Easter Oratorio isn't really an oratorio along the lines of the Christmas Oratorio and the St. Matthew and St. John Passions. There's no Evangelist reciting passages from the Gospels, for example. While Bach did assign characters' names (Mary Magdalene, Peter, John, etc.) to the solo parts in his first version (itself adapted from a secular cantata), he removed those names later. Basically, it's a lavish Easter cantata, with two instrumental sinfonias before the first jubilant chorus and more contemplative arias for soprano (sung here by an unusually warm Barbara Schlick) and for tenor with flutes. The "oratorio" is paired with a similarly joyful but smaller-scale cantata, Erfreut euch, ihr Herzen, BWV 66. This 1995 recording shows typical Herreweghe strengths (warm sound and a gentle, soulful quality) and weaknesses (a certain reserve in the exuberant passages--a tendency that has subsequently lessened, as evidenced by his wonderful B-Minor Mass). Ton Koopman's Easter Oratorio may be more satisfying, but at such a reasonable price, this one is certainly worth having if you're a Herreweghe fan, even if it isn't his best work. --Matthew Westphal

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Oster Oratorium, BWV 249
Kantate "Erfreut euch, ihr Herzen" BWV 66

Barbara Schlick, soprano
Kai Wessel, alto
James Taylor, tenor
Peter Kooy, basse

Collegium Vocale
dir. Philippe Herreweghe

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