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 Search Beat > The Music Beat > Classical Music > Featured Composer > Johann Sebastian Bach > Choral Recommendations


recommended recordings
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Bach Edition - Bach: Messe en si / Herreweghe, et al
Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor: Philippe Herreweghe
Performer: VŽronique Gens, Peter Kooy, et al.
Ensemble: Collegium Vocale
Harmonia Mundi (Fra) - #2951614 / October 12, 1999

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This recording is, quite frankly, a marvel. In the opening bars of the Kyrie, where tradition dictates a powerful, agonized cry for mercy, Philippe Herreweghe offers a gentle, awestruck plea that took this listener's breath away. Extroverted movements like the Gloria, Et resurrexit, and Sanctus lack nothing in excitement; Qui tollis and Dona nobis pacem feel like fervent prayers. Herreweghe's luminous Collegium Vocale and skillful, sensitive instrumentalists make every gesture, large and small,...Read more


Bach: St Matthew Passion / Klemperer, Pears, Ludwig, et al

Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor: Otto Klemperer
Performer: Walter Berry, Wilfred Brown, et al.
Ensemble: Hampstead Parish Church Boys' Choir, Philharmonia Chorus, et al.
Emd/Emi Classics - #63058 / March 8, 1989

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With all the (deserving) attention paid these days to period instruments and performance practices, it remains for any period performance group to equal or surpass this magnificent production, recorded in 1961. With soloists of a caliber hard to match today, and one of the world's finest orchestras and choruses, this recording brings the deeply spiritual and dramatic aspects of the work together in a way that is nothing less than revelatory. The opening chorus alone is a marvel of conducting...Read more


Bach, J. S.: Saint Matthew Passion / Herreweghe, Bostridge, Selig, Collegium Vocale (Plus CD-Rom)
Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor: Philippe Herreweghe, Cantate Domino Chorus
Performer: Ian Bostridge, Werner GŸra, et al.
Ensemble: Cantate Domino Chorus, Ghent Collegium Vocale Orchestra, et al.
Harmonia Mundi (Fra) - #951676 / November 16, 1999

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The St. Matthew Passion, Bach's monumental retelling of the story of the Last Supper and the arrest and execution of Jesus, typically runs from two-and-a-half to three hours. Yet this performance makes the time... well, not exactly fly past (consider the subject matter), but it's not tedious for even a second. Much of the credit for this goes to the marvelous Evangelist, Ian Bostridge. He's an outstanding narrator: the clear tone and diction, skillful timing, and intense involvement with words...Read more


Bach: Cantatas Vol 6 / Thomas, American Bach Soloists

Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor: Jeffrey Thomas
Performer: Catherine Bott, William Sharp, et al.
Ensemble: American Bach Soloists
Koch International Classics - #7234 / June 18, 1996

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Here are three of Bach's most popular cantatas. No. 80, based on Luther's famous hymn ("A mighty fortress"), includes four different treatments of the chorale tune and a meltingly beautiful quartet for alto, tenor, violin, and oboe. No. 78 is best known for its zippy little soprano-alto duet; no. 140 ("Sleepers awake") features the original version (for tenor and strings) of Bach's famous organ chorale prelude with the same title, along with a splendid opening chorus and two...Read more


Bach: Easter Oratorio, Magnificat / Koopman, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, et al
Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor: Ton Koopman
Performer: Elisabeth von Magnus, Klaus Mertens, et al.
Ensemble: Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Amsterdam Baroque Choir
Wea/Atlantic/Erato - #23416 / March 16, 1999

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Bach's celebration of Easter is a mostly joyous one, opening with a three-movement sinfonia, richly orchestrated, and complete with trumpets and drums: the third movement includes the chorus inviting listeners to rejoice and hasten to the tomb of Jesus, "For our Savior has awakened." There follow recitatives and arias for Mary Magdalen, Mary, the mother of James, Peter, and John. Each character goes through grief to love and gratefulness, and Bach's endlessly inventive scoring, melodic lines,...Read more


Bach: Christmas Oratorio / Gardiner, English Baroque Soloist
Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor: John Eliot Gardiner
Performer: Nancy Argenta, Hans-Peter Blochwitz, et al.
Ensemble: English Baroque Soloists, Monteverdi Choir
Uni/Archiv - #23232 / October 1, 1997

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This isn't an oratorio in the Handelian sense, but a series of cantatas for various days from Christmas to Epiphany. Bach's music is loaded with treats: an echo aria for soprano and oboe; a "pastoral" sinfonia; bravura arias for tenor with flute and bass with trumpet; a giddy soprano-bass duet; a transporting lullaby for alto. Then there are the choruses, featuring the Monteverdi Choir at their best: exuberant full-orchestra choruses in parts one and three; a lilting triple-time chorus...Read more



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Shopping and Product Search for
Angel/EMI Boxed Sets Decca Deutsche Grammophon ECM Store DVD-Audio Sheet
Music
Shop for Classical Music
Ballet Opera Symphony Sacred Early
Music
Renaissance
(c.1450-1600)
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(c.1600-1750)
Classical
(c.1770-1830)
Romantic
(c.1820-1910)
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