Ton Koopman

Bach: Wedding Cantatas

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AllMusic Review by

Though only one cantata gets to bear the nickname, Bach actually wrote many works that could be described as wedding cantatas. Some of them are lost, others are of debatable authorship, but of those that remain, four are collected on this 2008 disc. The performances by Ton Koopman leading the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir are taken from their set of the complete extant cantatas with the four works here recorded in 1994, 1996, and 2002. Though Koopman has shown himself to be a master Bach conductor, one sometimes got the sense in listening to his sacred cantatas that the composer's Lutheran ethos sat less well with his naturally ebullient personality than did the far more cheerful secular cantatas. This disc substantiates that hunch: these are four of the most joyful performances in the entire collection with brilliant playing, shinning singing, bright colors, and vigorous rhythms. The soloists are consistently excellent, though soprano Barbara Schlick is particularly radiant in Der Herr denkt an uns, BWV 196, and soprano Lisa Larsson is especially emotional in Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten, BWV 202. With skimpy notes and no texts, this disc may not appeal to Bach devotees. But with crisp sound and festive performances, it may well appeal to more casual fans of the German Baroque master.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Cantata No. 195, "Dem Gerechten muss das Licht," BWV 195 (BC B14)
1
4:22
2
1:04
3
4:02
4
0:54
5
6:30
6
0:41
Cantata No. 196, "Der Herr denket an uns," BWV 196 (BC B11)
7
1:40
8
1:52
9
2:35
10
2:08
11
2:46
Cantata No. 197, "Gott ist unsre Zuversicht," BWV 197 (BC B16)
12
5:20
13
1:12
14
5:21
15
0:43
16
0:53
17
5:52
18
1:20
19
3:35
20
0:43
21
0:51
Cantata No. 202, "Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten" ("Wedding Cantata"), BWV 202 (BC G41)
22
6:21
23
0:26
24
3:09
25
0:40
26
2:37
27
0:44
28
4:07
29
0:21
30
1:39
blue highlight denotes track pick