This is the sixth release in ATMA’s project to record the sacred cantatas of J.S. Bach in conjunction with the Montréal Baroque Festival.
This cycle is performed in keeping with the latest scholarship on Bach’s own performances, and the choral sections are sung by the four soloists, one per part.
The Festival Montréal Baroque is held every year in Old Montréal, with performance venues in churches, factories, and warehouse that actually date back to the Baroque. The Festival has gained an international reputation amongst Early Music performers, and draws both artists and audience from around the world.
The major religious holiday known as Pentecost begins 50 days (seven Sundays) after Easter Sunday, and focuses on the idea that Jesus was sent to save the world, not judge it. This account is evoked by several musical elements in cantatas BWV 68, 173, and 174, the three surviving works written by Bach for the Monday after Pentecost. The gospel for the third day of Pentecost, which corresponds with cantata BWV 184, describes how Jesus presents himself as the good shepherd.
Several movements from the four works on this recording use the compositional technique known as ‘parody’. In a musical context, parody refers to self-borrowing, something Bach did frequently.