I love music.

I write about the music I like and have purchased for the benefit of better understanding it and sharing my preferences with others.

Bach Alt Kantaten

"Old Cantatas?" I read this post and got confused about exactly what work he was discussing... and found my favorite rendition of BWV 82 with Fabio Biondi (violin) and Ian Bostridge. But then sought-out the work I really had been thinking about when reading that post, the Johann Christoph Bach work, Ach, dass ich Wassers g'nug hätte... from the old-Bach archive. Musica Antiqua Köln performed this work in their final concert performances. The string ensemble performance was excellent; I much prefer their recording with Magdalena Kozena than the lady who appeared on stage. I have several renditions of this early work, too, which makes a nice comparison. The strings in the Cantus Cölln recording are far kinder, and polite than the MAK recording. It reminds me an "earlier" music mindset: a much clearer, less dramatic vocal, simple chords for accompaniment. So, between the extremes, of intense playing (with my memory of MAK's live performance in mind), or more laid-back--which was it for Johann Christoph? I then consulted an earlier MAK recording, made in their hey-day, right around the time they released their now-famous recording of Sebastian's Brandenburg Concertos. An interesting contrast, for sure; it sounds as if the vocalist (here, a guy) is singing into an echo chamber, and the string ensemble is far more balanced with focus on the violin. Then we go to Gérard Lesne and his recording "Bach," with Il Seminario Musicale. Finally, some singing on par with Kozena! But they run an expensive production, complete with lute, which to my ears, loses the "full string ensemble sound" that was so admirable in other recordings. Either way, this is a moving work, one that is harmonically rich, and full of German Affekt. Those performances that make most of these gestures are my favorites. I like the recording from the Lamento album with Kozena and MAK best for the ensemble sound, and the singing by Lesne best, on Astrée. This is a dramatic work. A special one, for sure.

Dowland: Lachrimae

Hot Weather? Telemann Paris Quartets!