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Recreation for the Soul

Magdalena Consort

Bach

SKU: 35214

Year of release: 2014

BWV 78 20:39
1. Jesu, der du meine Seele-Jesu, der du meine Seele Bach 05:01
2. Jesu, der du meine Seele-Wir eilen mit schwachen Bach 04:36
3. Jesu, der du meine Seele-Ach! Ich bin ein Kind Bach 02:03
4. Jesu, der du meine Seele-Das Blut, so meine Schuld Bach 02:49
5. Jesu, der du meine Seele-Die Wunden, Bach 02:22
6. Jesu, der du meine Seele-Nun du wirst Bach 02:41
7. Jesu, der du meine Seele-Heer, ich glaube Bach 01:03
BWV 150 14:09
8. Nach dir, Herr , verlanget mich -Sinfonia Bach 01:26
9. Nach dir, Herr , verlanget mich -Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich Bach 03:09
10. Nach dir, Herr , verlanget mich -Doch bin und bleibe Bach 01:18
11. Nach dir, Herr , verlanget mich -Leite mich in deiner Wahrheit Bach 01:52
12. Nach dir, Herr , verlanget mich -Cedern mussen von den winden Bach 01:23
13. Nach dir, Herr , verlanget mich -Meine Augen Bach 01:58
14. Nach dir, Herr , verlanget mich -Meine Tage in den Leiden Bach 03:01
BWV 147- Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben 28:14
15. Herz un Mund un Tat und Leben Bach 03:36
16. Gebenedeiter Mund! Bach 01:38
17. Schame dich, Bach 03:57
18. Verstockung kannGewaltige verblenden Bach 01:31
19. Bereite dir, Jesu Bach 04:48
20. Wohl mir, dazz ich Jesum habe Bach 02:47
21. Hilf, Jesu, hilf Bach 02:57
22. Der Hochsten Allmacht Wunderhand Bach 02:04
23. Ich will von Jesu Bach 02:26
24. Jesus Bleibet meine Freude Bach 02:25
Total time: 63:02

About this album

Bach’s ambition to compose a body of ‘well-regulated church music’ – liturgical music for the entire church calendar – produced a wealth of sacred cantatas. Around two hundred have survived, and are an eloquent expression of his opinion that ‘true music should be for the honour of God and the recreation of the soul’. That comment – made with respect to the art of realising a figured-bass (where harmony is indicated by numbers) – seems appropriate to this collection, since the choice of these glorious works was influenced by a consideration of number symbolism and other extra-musical devices. That this most cerebral music touches the emotions so keenly might seem a paradox, but as a performer, analysing the possible thinking behind Bach’s musical decisions brings the composer closer.Behind the unmatched contrapuntal intricacy of Bach’s music lie yet further layers of complexity, his compositional choices being prompted by the demands of symbolism of various kinds, rhetorical and numerological. Since ancient times, simple proportions had been understood to lie at the heart of musical sound. Mediaeval musicians, finding perfection in the Trinity, developed systems of notation accordingly, with the outcome that triple time was considered tempus perfectum; duple time imperfectum. Given that metre is such an evident characteristic of any music, and since triple time is something that – for us bipeds – will always be a dance, this central tenet of Christian doctrine had considerable (and possibly unintended) consequences for the character of sacred music. Bach, in addition to references to the Trinity (3 and its powers 9 and 27) and Christ’s age (33), also gave significance to numbers derived from his own name (BACH=14, 41=JSBACH, where A=1, B=2 etc.). Since composition apparently cost him comparatively little effort, ‘recreation’ for Bach’s soul seems to have lain in a delight in such convolutions; but whether as compositional spur, marks of devotion or for his private satisfaction, we can only speculate.

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Reviews

The WholeNote

For a change of pace I found that a new recording of Bach Cantatas entitled Recreation for the Soul featuring the Magdalena Consort did indeed provide a refreshing respite...stellar soloists...[and] a clarity not always found in full choral presentations. Highly recommended.

Gramophone

Unfailingly elegant interpretations.

Stereophile

"Intimate performances... the gentle transparent sound is the perfect compliment to these beautiful works." 4/5 stars performance & 5/5 stars sonics

Music-Web - John Quinn

(...) these are stylish and thoughtful performances given by musicians who are thoroughly versed in Bach performances. I enjoyed these cantata performances very much indeed. My enjoyment was enhanced by the excellence of the recorded sound and the excellent quality of the documentation. I look forward to further recordings from this fine ensemble.

Fono Forum

(...) Das Magdalena Consort balanciert gekonnt auf dem schmalen Grat von polyphoner, instrumental inspirierter Vokalvirtuosität, bei der Instrumente zu Stimmen werden und umgekehrt, und auf der anderen Seite von rhetorischer Ausdruckskunst, als gelte es, die barocke Figurenlehre vom Grund auf neu aufzurollen. Diese Zweiheit macht die besondere Qualität dieser Aufnahme aus.

Technical Specifications

Recording SoftwarePyramix
Recording Type Bit RateDSD64
Recording LocationCrystal Palace London
Recording EngineerJared Sacks
ProducerJared Sacks
Mixing BoardHeinis custom made
MicrophonesBruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Mastering EquipmentB&W 803 diamond
Mastering EngineerJared Sacks
Digital ConvertersGrimm AD
Cablesvan der Hul