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CHAN 0715
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CHAN 0715
Early Cantatas, Volume 1

Bach: Early Cantatas, Volume 1

The Classical Shop
release date: February 2005

Recorded in 24 Bit / 96Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 2004


Peter Harvey


Michael Chance


Emma Kirkby


Charles Daniels


Purcell Quartet


St Jude on the Hill, Hampstead, London


Rachel Smith


Jonathan Cooper

Matthew Walker

(Assistant: December 2002)

Michael Common

(Assistant: March 2004)

Record Label



Early Music

Total Time - 76:08
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Early Cantatas, Volume 1



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  Early Cantatas, Volume 1  

Christ lag in Todes Banden, BWV 4

1 1 Sinfonia 1:14
2 2 Versus 1. Christ lag in Todes Banden. Allegro - Alla breve 4:27
3 3 Versus 2. Den Tod niemand zwingen kunnt 4:24
4 4 Versus 3. Jesus Christus, Gottes Sohn. [Allegro] - 2:01
5 5 Versus 4. Es war ein wunderlicher Krieg 2:22
6 6 Versus 5. Hie ist das rechte Osterlamm 3:25
7 7 Versus 6. So feiren wir das hohe Fest 1:38
8 8 Versus 7. Chorale. Wir essen und leben wohl 1:18

Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir, BWV 131 23:25

9 1 Sinfonia. Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir. Lente (Adagio) - 2:31
10 Herr, höre meine Stimme. Vivace 1:48
11 2 So du willt, Herr, Sünde zurechnen. Andante 4:33
12 3 Ich harre des Herrn. Adagio - Largo - Adagio 3:21
13 4 Meine Seele wartet auf den Herrn 7:22
14 5 Israel, hoffe auf den Herrn. Adagio - Un poc'allegro - 3:50

Gottes Zeit is die allerbeste Zeit, BWV 106

  Actus tragicus  
15 1 Sonatina. Molto adagio 2:43
16 2A Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit. [ ] - Allegro - 1:44
17 2B Ach, Herr, lehre uns bedenken. Lento - 2:07
18 2C Bestelle dein Haus. Vivace - 1:10
19 2D Es ist der alte Bund. Andante 3:49
20 3A In deine Hände befehl ich meinen Geist - 2:04
21 3B Heute wirst du mit mir im Paradies sein 3:49
22 4 Glorie. Lob, Ehr und Herrlichkeit. [ ] - Allegro 2:48

Der Herr denket an uns, BWV 196

23 1 Sinfonia 1:46
24 2 Der Herr denket an uns und segnet uns 2:06
25 3 Er segnet, die den Herrn fürchten 2:22
26 4 Der Herr segne euch je mehr und mehr 2:38
27 5 Chorus. Ihr seid die Gesegneten des Herrn 2:48
J. S. Bach was probably the greatest of all European religious composers, able to find the heart of human experience in the story of Christ’s passion, and this highly profound and emotionally charged music is here performed by some of today’s very finest early music interpreters – Emma Kirkby, Michael Chance, Peter Harvey and The Purcell Quartet. The first of two volumes of Bach cantatas, this disc follows up the success of the disc of Buxtehude motets from almost the same line up, which Chandos released in 2002.

The Cantatas on this disc were all composed during the two years when Bach was organist and choirmnaser at St Blasius’ Church in Mühlhausen, before he took up his first major appointment at Weimar. This was in 1707-8 and Bach was in his early twenties.

The Purcell Quartet has released over thirty discs on Chandos, and has received the highest commendations in the press.

The chorale tunes in the Lutheran Masses are literally ‘people’s music’, public property in that Luther gathered them together for domestic as well as ecclesiastical use. Some were recycled liturgical melodies, some especially composed, and some specially adapted, and some adapted from secular folksongs, more often erotic than pious, as Luther did not believe that the Devil should have all the good tunes! Through his settings, we can sense Bach’s devoutness, but the popular and communal nature of the tunes – created not primarily by Bach but by the People and the Lutheran Church – is not relinquished.
Aus der Tiefen rufe ich Herr, zu dir, BWV 131 seems to have been commissioned by St Blasius’ to commemorate a savage municipal fire that had ravaged the town in the previous year, 1706. The words, mostly from Psalm 130, inspire Bach to an appropriate grandeur and monumentality, though the work is scored modestly for strings.
Der Herr denket an uns, BWV 196 is a longer and grander act of praise, not in tragic G minor but in ‘white’ C major, emblematic of Light. The so-called Actus tragicus (Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit, BWV 106) is perhaps so named because, although Bach is said to have been a mere twenty years old at the time of its writing, it embraces the essential tragic experience of Christ on the Cross with the utmost profundity.
The cantata Christ lag in Todes Banden, BWV 4 also confronts death in a youthful calm, although its basic key is E minor, for Bach had a penitential key and, indeed, his key of Crucifixion in the B minor Mass. The words, probably chosen and arranged by the young Bach, refer directly to the struggle between life and death, leaving us in no doubt as to which will be victorious.

…exquisite… the four singers are such brilliant virtuosi that the counterpoint emerges with unrivalled clarity. These are spirited performances, in splendidly lifelike recorded sound.
The Sunday Times on CHAN 0653 (Bach Lutheran Masses, Vol. 2)

…a gracious and gratifying exposé of the F minor and A major settings of the Ordinary, sensitively performed in alert and honest chamber-scaled performances…
Gramophone ‘Critics’ Choice’ on CHAN 0642 (Bach Lutheran Masses, Vol. 1)

These are outstanding ensemble performances of music which, had Bach died in his early twenties, would be hailed as unrivalled masterpieces.
Early Music Review

An expert recording in an amenable acoustic completes a release of many refined pleasures.
Gramophone on CHAN 0691 (Buxtehude)

When for the first time you listen to the cantatas of youth J.S.Bach with a minimalist organic essential or you will be surprised, but in this case the job of the performers and the performance practice of historical performance, allow us to analyze the radiographic and operates at the same time try the excitement of listening never provate.La technique CHANDOS recording in live 24-bit 96 kHerz certainly helps in the return of special nuances, so it is advisable to listen to the high-resolution files, once downloaded is easy to convert from FLAC to PCM (WAV). When physical pleasure and the spiritual are one!