Since 1995, Masaaki Suzuki's critically acclaimed cycle of J.S. Bach's cantatas has been a solid mainstay of the field of early music recordings, and his stylish interpretations have been widely admired for their meticulous musicianship and polished singing. Suzuki strives for coherence and unity in his readings, and his albums reflect this in the programming of similarly themed cantatas, which illustrate Bach's methods more clearly than other groupings might. Volume 50 presents four cantatas composed in Leipzig between the years 1726 and 1729 -- BWV 149, BWV 145, BWV 174, and BWV 49 -- and even though they have some obvious structural differences, they have expressions of rejoicing and praise as their subjects. The exuberant counterpoint is deftly handled by the Bach Collegium Japan, which has worked assiduously with Suzuki on every volume and consistently produced a refined ensemble blend that can scarcely be improved upon. The reproduction by BIS is the finest available on that label, and it captures all the dynamics and timbres with a natural clarity and freshness that befit the musicians' exceptional work. Highly recommended.
Bach: Cantatas, Vol. 50 - BWV 49, 145, 149, 174 Review
by Blair Sanderson