June 1, 2016
The Montreal Baroque Festival is held every summer in the historic churches, factories and warehouses of Old Montreal, and for the past six summers recording label ATMA has partnered with them to produce a recording of Bach’s cantatas, with discerningly spare vocal forces (one voice to each part) accompanied by period ensemble. This latest in the series features cantatas Bach composed between 1724 and 1729 for Pentecost, celebrated in the liturgical calendar 50 days after Easter Sunday. Bach’s realization of the themes of the Pentecost, the tongues of flame, the rushing wind, the spreading of the word as well as Christ’s revelation of God’s love for the world in BWV68, Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt (God so loved the world) which begins with chorale and ends with a quite busy and complex choral movement on a quotation from the Gospel of John, in which the four soloists race along beautifully together. In this and many of the others featured on the disc, Bach borrows from previous works, in this case two arias from his Hunting Cantata. Soprano Monika Mauch, countertenor Pascal Bertin, tenor Charles Daniels and bass Jean-Claude Sarragosse have lovely arias throughout the cantatas and the orchestra some lovely mirroring of parts throughout. Such a gem; we hope for many more annual releases from the festival.
Diane Wells – The WholeNote