Saturday, January 9, 2010

Bach, Wilh. Fr. Ernst - Cantatas & Sinfonias - Das Kleine Konzert, Max

Bach, Wilh. Fr. Ernst - Cantatas & Sinfonias - Das Kleine Konzert, Max
Vocal/Orchestral | Eac, flac, cue | log, cover | 1 CD, 288 MB
November 14, 2000 | CPO | RapidShare

J.S. Bach's talent seems to flow in his grandson's blood at least as strongly as in any of his sons.

Wilhelm Friedrich Ernst Bach's two symphonies (as well as the vocal works featured here) inhabit the sound-world of mid- to late Mozart, albeit without the brilliance (in every sense of the word). This Bach's wind writing is tasteful, and makes good use of the (then) newly-arrived clarinet. The Andante of the C major symphony is quite beautiful, with a dolefully sweet oboe solo throughout the movement.

The period strings of Das Kleine Konzert are lively, clean, and in tune, although the violin soloist is not quite up to the rapid passage-work at the end of the G major symphony.Bach's vocal writing is equally skillful, most notably in the Cantata on the King's Return. This piece features solo moments for several different singers and some engaging choral work from the Rheinische Kantorei, especially the chorale-like "Unsre Heisen W√ľnsche schwingen" in the Terzett (Track 4). Conductor Hermann Max is a fine judge of tempo, and he gets excellent results from his ensemble, bringing a freshness to the proceedings that lifts the music above the journeyman world in which it often resides. He especially brings out all the Sturm und Drang qualities of the Columbus cantata, an entertaining depiction of the last day of Columbus' voyage, where land is sighted in the final measures.

The recording balance is excellent, with the vocal parts resting naturally atop the orchestra. The sound of the period instruments is captured naturally, without any roughness in the strings or bleating from the brass. Although there's nothing life-altering here, and nothing that rises to the level of a masterpiece, it's all quite pleasing to listen to, and fans of the Haydn/Mozart Classical style will find much to enjoy. --David Preiser

CD Content
Westphalens Freude, cantata ('Die Nymphen der Weser')
Sinfonia in G major: Movement
Vater unser (Lord Our Father), for tenor, bass, choir & orchestra
Columbus oder die Entdeckung von America, for tenor, baritone, chorus & orchestra

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