Long one of the finest living interpreters of Bach's sacred music, Philippe Herreweghe here adds two secular cantatas to an already distinguished discography. In the festive Vereinigte Zwietracht der wechselnden Saiten and the celebratory Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten, Herreweghe leads his Collegium Vocale, Ghent in performances of rare beauty and great joy. Taking the symbolic roles of Diligence, Honor and Gratitude in one cantata and the scarcely less symbolic roles of Irene, Bellona, Fama, and Pallas in the other, the vocal quartet of Carolyn Sampson, Ingeborg Danz, Mark Padmore, and Peter Kooy performs with brilliant characterizations and consummate artistry. Having shown himself adept at expressing shades of gloom in post-Thirty Years War Lutheranism in Bach's secular cantatas, Herreweghe proves himself able to express the simple, happy emotions of pre-Enlightenment Germany in his secular cantatas. Anyone who's heard the "Coffee" Cantata and the "Peasant" Cantata and is looking for the next logical step will enjoy this recording. Harmonia Mundi's sound is clearly detailed and warmly transparent.
J.S. Bach: Tönet, ihr Pauken! Review
by James Leonard