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J.S. Bach: Advent Cantatas / Collegium Vocale Gent, Philippe Herreweghe

Notes & Reviews:

Surely one of the greatest gifts the Lutheran Church ever made to music was to have charged Bach with the duty of producing a cantata for every week of the year. He left us no fewer than three for the first Sunday in Advent alone, composed between 1714 (at Weimar) and 1724-31 (at Leipzig). They are inspired in very different ways by Luther's original chorale: it is as if all of baroque Germany is contained between the sobriety of BWV 61 and the ambitious frescoes of BWV 36 and 62.

Early Music Review, December 2014
The 17 singers of the chorus and the 18 players are beautifully balanced: the direction is poised and properly reticent, so we hear Bach without the distractions of an assertive conductor: tempi are beautifully judged and feel just right to me...they are the best of these cantatas that I can imagine.

International Record Review, December 2014
The recording quality is state of the art, and the performances throughout are so infused with such a combination of musical understanding, devotion and overall dramatic unity and purpose that it is difficult to imagine anything finer than this... Strongly recommended.

BBC Music Magazine (Andrew McGregor)
Forty years after its foundation it's all too easy to take the excellence and consistency of Collegium Vocale Ghent for granted: back in 1970 there wasn't any such ensemble in mainland Europe. Philippe Herreweghe, a psychiatry student, founded CVG to put his ideas into practice... CVG became part of the first complete Bach cantata project for Telefunken, Herreweghe, at hospital in the day, conducting his choir in the evening sessions... Presentation is exemplary: top quality at mid price, and a birthday gift that really will keep on giving.


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