Bach: Secular Cantatas, Vol. 3 - BWV 173a; 202; 36c; 524 / Joanne Lunn, soprano; Masaaki Suzuki

Album Summary

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Durchlauchtster Leopold, serenata for 2 voices, flute, bassoon, strings & continuo, BWV 173a (BC G9)
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Cantata no 202, "Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten" ("Wedding Cantata") BWV 202
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Cantata no 36c, "Schwingt freudig euch empor" BWV 36c
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Quodlibet, for chorus & continuo (incomplete), BWV 524 (BC H1)
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Although two of the works on this disc were composed for weddings, they are completely different in character. Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten is a charming and gracious garland of recitatives and arias for soprano solo in which Spring, Flora, Apollo and Amor are all invoked in a blessing of the newly wedded couple and their union. The Quodlibet (Latin for 'what pleases') on the other hand, is an altogether unceremonious composition which was probably intended for a private function in Bach's own circle or family. All we have is a fragment of the work - in Bach's own hand - and the beginning and ending of the piece, including the title page, are missing. It is therefore not even certain that it is Bach's own work, but may have been a collaboration between several of the wedding guests. Compositions of this kind belong to a tradition which combines quotations from songs, toasts, market traders' calls, proverbs and puns, and were especially popular at weddings - where they frequently got out of hand! The third disc in Bach Collegium Japan's series of secular cantatas also includes a birthday cantata composed in the honour of Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Köthen, Bach's employer during years 1717 - 23. Durchlauchtster Leopold ('Most illustrious Leopold') celebrates the 'propitious day' while extolling the ruler's 'excellent attributes' and 'princely renown'. Two duets in minuet form lend the work the character of a courtly serenade, which didn't stop Bach from reusing it, with a new text, as a church cantata a few years later. The name of the recipient of Schwingt freudig euch empor, another congratulatory cantata, is no longer known, but the text tells us that he was a teacher of high standing and of an advanced age. Once again Bach, who must have been attached to the work, reused it as a church cantata, but also, with the new title Steigt freudig in die Luft, as a birthday tribute to Charlotte Friederike of Anhalt-Köthen, the wife of Prince Leopold.

BBC Music Magazine, October 2013
Suzuki and his singers are at ease with this carefree Bach, introducing the Quodlibet with background babble, and singing with exaggerated nasal accents...[Lunn's] lyrical, sustained aria in BWV36c is glorious. Two further high points in BWV36c are a rustic bass dance-aria and the admirable oboes d'amore and strings of the opening choral movement.

Gramophone Magazine, September 2013
As ever, Suzuki and colleagues are excellent, their collective experience as Bach interpreters enabling them to gel as one. You feel you are ever safe in their hands; but if you think that simply means no surprises, listen to them cut loose in the lusty Wedding Quodlibet.

International Record Review, September 2013
I've never heard Suzuki and the Bach Collegium having so much fun...conjuring up all the merriment of slightly inebriated music-making (complete with plenty of sound effects). This is undoubtedly the most convincing and enjoyable performance of the Quodlibet, BVW524 I've heard.

MusicWeb International, 10th September 2013
Suzuki neither deserts seriousness for levity, nor makes something fey or whimsical of this somewhat lighter form of Bach's writing...The blend between sensitive instrumental playing and thoughtful yet never self-important singing is one of the strengths of these performances.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: The MS&AD Shirakawa Hall, Nagoya, Japan (07/2012).



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Works Details

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Durchlauchtster Leopold, serenata for 2 voices, flute, bassoon, strings & continuo, BWV 173a (BC G9)
  • Performers: Joanne Lunn (Soprano); Natsumi Wakamatsu (Violin)
  • Conductor: Masaaki Suzuki
  • Ensemble: Bach Collegium Japan
  • Running Time: 17 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 1717-1722

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Cantata no 202, "Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten" ("Wedding Cantata") BWV 202
  • Performers: Joanne Lunn (Soprano); Masamitsu San'nomiya (Oboe); Natsumi Wakamatsu (Violin)
  • Conductor: Masaaki Suzuki
  • Running Time: 18 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: by 1730

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Cantata no 36c, "Schwingt freudig euch empor" BWV 36c
  • Performers: Natsumi Wakamatsu (Viola d'amore); Hiroya Aoki; Makoto Sakurada (Tenor); Joanne Lunn (Soprano); Masamitsu San'nomiya (Oboe d'amore); Natsumi Wakamatsu (Violin); Roderick Williams (Bass Baritone)
  • Conductor: Masaaki Suzuki
  • Running Time: 25 min. 41 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 1725-1730

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Quodlibet, for chorus & continuo (incomplete), BWV 524 (BC H1)
  • Performers: Makoto Sakurada (Tenor); Joanne Lunn (Soprano); Hiroya Aoki; Roderick Williams (Bass Baritone)
  • Conductor: Masaaki Suzuki
  • Running Time: 11 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 10/20/1707