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Easily the best-known piece here is Ich habe genug (BWV 82). Peter Kooij's tender, yearning account is more modestly stated than versions by his more extrovert rivals. Gerd Türk, assisted by... —
Bach, J S: Cantata BWV52 'Falsche Welt, dir trau ich nicht'
Work length14:27 Carolyn Sampson, Robin Blaze, Gerd Türk, Peter Kooij Bach Collegium Japan Masaaki Suzuki
Recitative. Falsche Welt, dir trau ich nicht! (Soprano)
Aria. Immerhin, immerhin, wenn ich gleich verstossen bin! (Soprano)
Recitative. Gott ist getreu! (Soprano)
Aria. Ich halt es mit dem lieben Gott (Soprano)
Chorale. In dich hab ich gehoffet, Herr (Chorus)
Bach, J S: Cantata BWV82 'Ich habe genug'
Work length22:26 Peter Kooij Bach Collegium Japan Masaaki Suzuki
Aria. Ich habe genug (Bass)
Recitative. Ich habe genug (Bass)
Aria. Schlummert ein, ihr matten Augen (Bass)
Recitative. Mein Gott! Wenn kommt das schone: Nun (Bass)
Aria. Ich freue mich auf meinen Tod (Bass)
Bach, J S: Cantata BWV55 'Ich armer Mensch, ich Sündenknecht'
Work length14:35 Carolyn Sampson, Robin Blaze, Gerd Türk, Peter Kooij Bach Collegium Japan Chorus, Bach Collegium Japan Masaaki Suzuki
Aria. Ich armer Mensch, ich Sundenknecht (Tenor)
Recitative. Ich habe wider Gott gehandelt (Tenor)
Aria. Erbarme dich! (Tenor)
Recitative. Erbarme dich! (Tenor)
Chorale. Bin ich gleich von dir gewichen (Chorus)
Bach, J S: Cantata BWV58 'Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid'
Work length14:21 Carolyn Sampson, Peter Kooij Bach Collegium Japan Hans-Joachim Drechsler
Aria with Chorale. Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid (Soprano, Bass)
Recitative. Verfolgt dich gleich die arge Welt (Bass)
Aria. Ich bin vergnugt in meinem Leiden (Soprano)
Recitative. Kann es die Welt nicht lassen (Soprano)
Aria with Chorale. Ich hab fur mir ein schwere Reis (Soprano, Bass)
The four cantatas on this recording come from 1726-1727, Bach’s fourth year of service at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig. During this time Bach showed a preference for solo cantatas, entrusting the text to a single solo voice. Three of these cantatas are of this type, while the fourth (BWV58) is scored for two voices.
Easily the best-known piece here is Ich habe genug (BWV 82). Peter Kooij's tender, yearning account is more modestly stated than versions by his more extrovert rivals. Gerd Türk, assisted by Suzuki's beautifully shaped phrasing, makes a stronger case for the austere Ich armer Mensch (BWV 55) than any rival version that comes to mind.
As the honeymoon period of Bach's appointment began to wear off, two or three years after his arrival in Leipzig, the composer's cantatas became less central to his creative life. More works by other composers began to appear in the church calendar as energy was increasingly focused towards new large-scale projects, of which the St Matthew Passion was the most pressing at the time these four solo cantatas were composed.
Smaller resources may also suggest a shortage of adequate forces in Leipzig in the months between late 1726 and early 1727 but there is no let-up in quality. This latest Bach Collegium volume includes one of the most celebrated of all bass-baritone works, Ich habe genug, in a reading of profoundly felt utterance by the experienced Peter Kooij. This is an even and fluent version, if in 'Schlummert ein' a touch too objective and laid-back. Yet the world-weariness of this great slumber aria is beautifully caught by Masaaki Suzuki in both the textural sensibility and rhythmic nuance of the ensemble. Unforced and natural, this is a reading reminding us of the simplicity of the work's unalloyed beauty.
Carolyn Sampson grows in stature as a Bachian in her exquisite musical judgement and technical assurance, not least in the outstanding tuning and allure of 'Ich halt es mit lieben Gott' (from Falsche Welt, No 52, which includes a rather sleepy performance of its Sinfonia, from the earliest version of Brandenburg No 1). Ich armerMensch is the only extant solo tenor cantata, a piece for whom man's inherent sinfulness is prevalent in supplicatory chromaticism, but hampered here by a tired-sounding Gerd Türk and some uncharacteristically sour intonation from the flautist, Liliko Maeda.
Sampson and Kooij share the delights of No 58, Ach Gott, wie manches, a symmetrical and passionately conceived work framed by splendid duets in which the bass paraphrases the soprano chorale (the symbol of Soul and God) – transformed from a tortured chaconne in a cathartic concerto romp. This is a fine close to another largely successful addition to this distinguished series.
A profound 'Ich habe genug' and exquisite singing from Sampson.