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5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 42.21 & FREE Shipping. Details
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
I have always been a Gardiner Fan for three reasons. One is the amazing way he brings Bach to life. The energy and beauty that Gardiner brings to his cantata performances can take your breath away. Listening to Gardiners Cantata's, it doesn't matter whether it's authentic, to slow, to fast... it just is. You can feel the admiration, study and love for Bach's Music flow through the performance. The Second reason is the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists. These performers never cease to amaze me. The Monteverdi Choir can do the impossible and the incredible without ever sounding stressed or sharp. The third reason is the talent, Gardiner is able to draw on in these Cantata performances. The soloists on this series of recordings are top notch.

This recording shows a freshness and energy that may other recordings lack. Gardiners idea of performing the Cantatas with only one week of preparation the way Bach would have, breathes life into the music. BWV 22 - features one of Bach's best duets "Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn" for soprano and alto. This has become the definitive performance of this duet for me. BWV 1 - Wei schon leuchtet der Morgenstern opening chorus is remarkable. The first time I heard this music performed by another group it left me cold. It dragged, the vocal lines were muddled. It completely lacked the clarity and transparency required. Gardiner's version is a revelation. The music swells and dances and shows the sheer joy Bach could bring to the "Art of music making". I have listen to this chorus almost every day since I purchased this recording.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars REDUNDANT June 12 2006
By GEORGE RANNIE - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
My reviews, on this board, to the Gardiner Bach Pilgrimage, are, I know, becoming rather redundant. Thus far, I only have an abundance of praise for Gardiner and his forces' endeavors! Per usual the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloist are superb.

To me this seventh release of the series (actually volume 21) finds J.S. Bach at his very peak. In fact, BMW 22 & 23 on the first disc were used by Johann as "audition material" when he applied for the cantorship position at Leipzig's St. Thomas's church. . I'm sure those two cantatas must have "knocked the socks off" of the "selection committee" because they are truly glorious works! (Proof is, of course, that he got the job and maintained it for more than twenty years!) Bach's writings for the chorus and for the orchestra, in Volume 21, is particularly awesome--listen to the opening "Arioso" for tenor. Bass and chorus of BMV 22 on the first disc -it's gorgeous. Also listen to tract seven on the second disc--another wonderful chorus! Once again, the soloists too are outstanding

Nathalie Stuzmann, alto on the second disc is wonderful in the solo cantata BMW 54. Likewise, James Gilchrist is again outstanding in his tenor solos--listen to tracts 6&16--outstanding!

Do read the wonderful notes in the album for the religious connotations of the works in this volume. Again I must refer you to the previous reviewer for his exemplary overview of the contents of Volume 21.

I wish that I could make my review more interesting by having something negative to say; however, I can't find anything negative to say. So just listen to this album and you will find dear Johann at his compositional peak!
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cantatas by BWV Number and Name. Gardiner's Pilgramage Continues... May 29 2006
By Vegan Daddy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The pilgramage continues with the latest installment Volume 21. Gardiner's interpretations are brilliant as ever and the works chosen for Volume 21 are equally bright. This disc set is a must to add to your pilgramage collection or if not to begin the pilgramage here. Listed below are the cantatas named with corresponding BWV number (since Amazon has yet to list them at the time of this brief review).

Cantata herein:

Disc 1

BWV 22 - Jesus nahm zu sich die Zwölfe

BWV 23 - Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn

BWV 127 - Herr Jesu Christ, wahr' Mensch und Gott

BWV 159 - Sehet! Wir gehn hinauf gen Jerusalem

Disc 2

BWV 182 - Himmelskönig, sei willkommen (for Palm Sunday / Annunciation)

BWV 54 - Widerstehe doch der Sünde (for the Third Sunday in Lent - Oculi) (Nathalie Stutzmann solo Alto)

BWV 1 - Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern (for the Feast of the Annunciation)

Happy Pilgrimage!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Amazing. May 13 2007
By W. F. Hill - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Having bought vol. 24 two years ago while in the U.K., I decided to give Amazon a try with two other Volumes of the Bach cantatas.

Not having used Amazon before I was apprehensive. But the purchasing process was straightforeward, and I was delighted to get the package here in Malawi only a few weeks later.

And the music! How could such a busy and evidently lovely man have had the time to produce such a huge amount of bliss! Church music that makes you want to get up and dance!

I am now counting my pennies to try to acquire the whole set.

Bill Hill

Prof. of Architecture,

Malawi.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY NEARLY VOLLBRACHT July 6 2012
By DAVID BRYSON - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Gardiner's `pilgrimage' series performing all the Bach cantatas consists of 27 volumes. I now have all 27, this is my 26th review, so I shall soon echo the master in saying `es ist vollbracht' - it is finished. There is no way of knowing at what point any other listener may join the programme, so in case this review finds any readers I had better summarise for the 26th time the general features of the series. It has been a monumental project in more than one sense. Gardiner planned and carried out a `pilgrimage' throughout Europe and latterly even the USA in which he and a dedicated retinue of singers, instrumentalists and recording technicians gave all the Bach cantatas on the liturgical dates for which JSB had created them, subject to such minor divergences as were to be found between the years of composition and the year 2000, the 250th anniversary of Bach's death. This set, like most of the series, contains two discs, the first having four cantatas for Quinquagesima, the last Sunday before Lent; the other finding space for a cantata each for three separate feasts, first the Annunciation and then two dates close to that.

No variation or divergence that I can recall is to be found in the recorded quality: from eastern Germany to New York City the recording personnel have adapted seamlessly (to use the cliché) to non-stop changes of acoustic. The `volumes' are to a standard and attractive format - a kind of book with only a small warning needed to the user to be careful in handling the discs, which can sometimes fall out rather easily and at other times be recalcitrant. There is always a long, learned and affectionate essay by Gardiner himself, plus a shorter effort from one of the performers, this time from the alto Nathalie Stutzmann, herself the recipient of a special commendation from the maestro. As for the actual music, it has to be one of the wonders of all artistic creation. Week in, week out, Bach turned out masterpieces that were difficult into the bargain, making his talent as a musical trainer second only to what he amounted to as a composer. This time round there is a fairly high incidence of numbers that come into my own category of knockouts. One is the chorale ending BWV22 on the first disc, with the kind of flowing instrumental counterpoint to the voices that is most famous from `Jesu Joy' and is, if possible, even more heavenly than that. My other favourites are towards the end of the second disc, one the solemn aria `es ist vollbracht', one the grand chorus with horns that starts BWV1, and my third winner (in sequence, not in ranking) the glorious soprano aria with obbligato oboe d'amore, sung by the glorious soprano Malin Hartelius.

Over 26 sets I have naturally got used to a good many of the names of the performers, or at least of the vocal soloists. Some were known to me already, but mostly they were new acquaintances. Nathalie Stutzmann is complimented here by no less than Gardiner himself, but my own biggest `find' has been Malin Hartelius. The perfection of her technique and the fresh clear beauty of her voice are as wonderful here as anywhere else. As for special `names', it would be invidious to single any others out, so I suppose there is nothing for it in that case but just to be invidious. I would not want to end without making special mention of the tenor James Gilchrist, whose original career, I have just learned, was in medicine. So was Michelangeli's (supposedly), so we seem to have two cases where medicine's loss has been music's gain. Gilchrist is 45ish, so there are plenty of good years left in his voice, and I am pleased to find that he has been less niggardly than Michelangeli was in sharing his talents with the rest of us. Only one more volume to go now, and in case you might want a bit of a preview, it's going to be another good one unless my confirmatory playing of it gives me any surprises.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Regal performance Sept. 30 2006
By Giordano Bruno - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Perhaps the excitement of performing before the Prince of Wales in his own parish church deserves the credit, but this is my favorite volume so far of the Gardiner pilgrimage to perform all the Bach cantatas on the appropriate dates. The whole series is wonderfully lively and Gardiner's interpretations are always interesting, but none of the other releases so far have combined such well-rehearsed instrumental performance, such splendid soloists matched with arias perfect for their voices, and such glorious composing even by Bach's standards. Buy it now !
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