Recently appointed 'honorary doctor' Ton Koopman with his Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir embarked a few years ago on a project to record all the Bach cantatas, both religious and secular. Koopman chose to record the cantatas in chronological order, and not by BWV number. Consequently, vol. 1 of the series (that eventually will include 20 volumes) includes 'early cantatas' composed in Weimar and Mühlhausen. It even includes the cantata "Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich" BWV 150, which is assumed to be the oldest Bach cantata in existence, written before 1707, i.e. the Arnstadt period. The Amsterdam Baroque Choir and Orchestra show to be well at home in the music of Bach. Of the soloists especially Guy de Mey (tenor) and Klaus Mertens (bass) should be mentioned. Koopman's interpretations are allways with a certain drive, which sometimes tends to result in "nervousness". His relatively high tempi however do work as they give the music liveliness and lightness. In this first volume there is sometimes to much of this, leading to a distortion of the balance between liveliness and "draught" that Bach's music needs too. All in all this first volume promises a series of Bach cantatas that will make heaven laugh and the earth rejoice, to quote the opening lines of cantata BWV31 "Der Himmel lacht! die Erde jubilieret".