Magazine article Gramophone

JS Bach: 'L'Epiphanie'

Magazine article Gramophone

JS Bach: 'L'Epiphanie'

Article excerpt

JS Bach


Cantatas--No 72, Alles nur nach Gottes Willen; No 81, Jesus schlaft, was soil ich hoffen?; No 155 Mein Gott, wie lang, ach lange; No 156, Ich steh mit einem Fuss im Grabe

Monika Mauch sop Franziska Gottwald contr Charles Daniels ten Harry van der Kamp bass Montreal Baroque / Eric Milnes

ATMA Classique [F] ACD2 2404 (57' * DDD * [T]/[t])

Except for the exquisite Sinfonia that opens No 156, none of these Epiphany cantatas is familiar fare. But with Bach cantatas, lesser-known rarely means inferior. No 72 opens with one of Bach's infectiously joyous triple-time choruses, while No 81, in which Jesus calms the wind and the waves, is in effect an unstaged sacred opera, complete with a pair of graphic 'storm' arias. The highlight of the relatively brief No 155 is the imploring duet for alto and tenor accompanied by a virtuoso bassoon obbligato.

Five volumes into his projected complete cantata cycle, Eric Milnes gets animated, stylistically assured playing from his Montreal band, based on a maximum of 10 strings. I didn't care for the little rhythmic hesitations that disrupt the flow of the soprano's polonaise aria in No 72. …

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