Bernarda Fink

Bach: Solo Cantatas BWV 35, 169, 170

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AllMusic Review by

Mezzo-soprano Bernarda Fink is a remarkably versatile singer, but she has devoted the bulk of her career to the music of the Baroque. Her impeccable technique, fluent coloratura, and warm, pure tone make this an ideal repertoire for her. She tends to convey a sense of dignity that can come across as reserve. When called upon, as in more emotionally charged repertoire, she can generate the necessary passion, but her naturally dignified musical demeanor ideally suits these Bach cantatas. The three are thematically related in their earnest theological certainty, tied to the believer's personal experience and feelings. Fink is able to convey the seriousness of their subject matter while expressing the believer's deeply emotional yearning for the bliss of union with God. She handles Bach's extended melismatic lines with supple lyricism and a radiant serenity, and her tone is warm, pure, and even throughout her range. The organ has an especially large role in these cantatas, often weaving through the vocal lines in an expressive obbligato, and Wolfgang Zerer plays with subtlety and sensitivity. Violinist Petra Müllejans leads Freiburger Barockorchester in a performance of exceptional flexibility and tonal warmth. Vocalconsort Berlin sings the concluding movement of one of the cantatas with a beautifully mellow blend. Harmonia Mundi's sound is clean, with a spacious ambience that still manages to feel intimate.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Cantata No. 169, "Gott soll allein mein Herze haben," BWV 169 (BC A143)
1 07:39
2 02:40
3 06:26
4 00:45
5 05:43
6 00:24
7 01:13
Cantata No. 170, "Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust," BWV 170 (BC A106)
8 06:58
9 01:20
10 08:37
11 01:11
12 06:12
Cantata No. 35, "Geist und Seele wird verwirret," BWV 35 (BC A125)
13 05:39
14 08:43
15 01:29
16 03:21
17 03:36
18 01:10
19 03:04
blue highlight denotes track pick