Ton Koopman / Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir

Solo Cantatas for Alto and Tenor

Format: CD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917228229
Catnr: CC 72282
Release date: 01 February 2008
1 CD
Challenge Classics
Catalogue number
CC 72282
Release date
01 February 2008

About the album

Most of Johann Sebastian Bach’s cantatas, from the earliest to the latest, require the participation of a choir that consists of soprano, alto, tenor, and bass voices. However, most of the movements of these cantatas – that is, all recitatives and arias – are assigned to solo singers usually representing three or four different voices.

In Weimar and in Leipzig Bach had a few professional singers he could make use of for particularly challenging vocal roles. A small contingent of stipends was provided by the Leipzig city council for Bach to hire a few key singers. Bach’s alto soloists were male and one of them was Bach’s student Carl Gotthelf Gerlach, who served as music director at Leipzig’s Neue Kirche from 1729 to 1761. He definitely served Bach as alto soloist in 1728 and 1729, most likely also earlier, so that he may well have been the singer who first performed cantatas BWV 169 and 170.

The alto solo cantata “Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust” BWV 170 was written for the 6th Sunday after Trinity and first performed on 28 July 1726.

The alto solo cantata “Gott soll allein mein Herze haben” BWV 169 was premiered on the 18th Sunday after Trinity, 20 October 1726.

The cantata “Widerstehe doch der Sünde” BWV 54, written for Oculi Sunday, the 3rd Sunday in Lent, was performed in Weimar on 4 March 1714, but probably originated in 1713 or earlier.

The tenor solo cantata “Ich armer Mensch, ich Sündenknecht” BWV 55 for the 22nd Sunday after Trinity was first performed on 17 November 1726.

The alto aria “Bekennen will ich seinen Namen” BWV 200 represents a fragment from a cantata whose other movements are completely unknown.
Solocantates van Bach uitgevoerd door Koopman en zijn toonaangevende ensemble
De meeste cantates van Johann Sebastian Bach vereisen de deelname van een koor bestaande uit sopranen, alten, tenoren en bassen. De meeste delen van de cantates, de recitatieven en aria’s, worden echter toegewezen aan solisten, die gewoonlijk drie tot vier verschillende stemgroepen vertegenwoordigen.

Slechts af en toe componeerde Bach een cantate voor een enkele solist. Of hij een beslissing in deze richting zou maken hing af van de aard van de tekst, de beschikbaarheid van solisten en de eventuele opdrachten van specifieke zangers.

In Weimar en Leipzig had Bach enkele professionele zangers tot zijn beschikking die hij kon inzetten voor bijzondere uitdagende vocale partijen. Hij ontving een gering salaris van de stadsraad van Leipzig, waarmee hij een aantal belangrijke zangers kon huren. Bachs altsolisten waren mannen, en een van hen was zijn student Carl Gotthelf Gerlach, die zeker in 1728 en 1729 ter beschikking stond van de componist, en waarschijnlijk al eerder. Het zou goed kunnen dat hij degene was die de cantates Gott soll allein mein Herze haben BWV 169 en Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust BWV 170, voor het eerst uitvoerde, de twee werken op dit album met solocantates voor alt en tenor.
Bachs Alt-Solisten waren Männer, und einer von ihnen war Bachs Schüler Carl Gotthelf Gerlach. Dieser besuchte bis zum Jahre 1723 die Thomasschule und stellte sich Bach 1728 und 1729 als Alt-Solist zur Verfügung. Daher war er vielleicht der Sänger, der die Kantaten BWV 169 und 170 zuerst aufführte. Inhalt: Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust BWV 170 / Gott soll allein mein Herze habe BWV 169 / Widerstehe doch der Sünde BWV 54 / Ich armer Mensch, ich Sündenknecht BWV 55 / Bekennen will ich seinen Namen BWV 200


Ton Koopman was born in Zwolle in 1944. After a classical education he studied organ, harpsichord and musicology in Amsterdam and was awarded the Prix d'Excellence for both instruments. From the beginning of his musical studies he was fascinated by authentic instruments and a performance style based on sound scholarship and in 1969, at the age of 25, he created his first Baroque orchestra. In 1979 he founded the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra followed by the Amsterdam Baroque Choir in 1992.

Koopman's extensive and impressive activities as a soloist, accompanist and conductor have been recorded on a large number of LPs and CDs for labels like Erato, Teldec, Sony, Philips and DG, besides his own record label “Antoine Marchand”, distributed by Challenge Records.

Over the course of a forty-five-year career Ton Koopman has appeared in the most important concert halls and festivals of the five continents. As an organist he has performed on the most prestigious historical instruments of Europe, and as a harpsichord player and conductor of the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir he has been a regular guest at venues which include the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Théatre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, the Philharmonie in Munich, the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, the Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York and leading concert halls in Vienna, London, Berlin, Brussels, Madrid, Rome, Salzburg, Tokyo and Osaka.

Between 1994 and 2004 Ton Koopman has been engaged in a unique project, conducting and recording all the existing Cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach, a massive undertaking for which he has been awarded the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis "Echo Klassik", the BBC Award 2008, the Prix Hector Berlioz, has been nominated for the Grammy Award (USA) and the Gramophone Award (UK). In 2000 Ton Koopman has received an Honorary Degree from the Utrecht University for his academic work on the Bach Cantatas and Passions and has been awarded both the prestigious Silver Phonograph Prize and the VSCD Classical Music Award. In 2006 he has received the « Bach-Medaille » from the City of Leipzig.

Recently Ton Koopman has embarked on another main project: the recording of the whole works by Dietrich Buxtehude, one of the great inspirer of the young J.S. Bach. The recording will be accomplished in 2010 with the release of 30 CDs. Ton Koopman is President of the “International Dieterich Buxtehude Society”.

Ton Koopman is very active as a guest conductor and he has collaborated with many prominent orchestras in Europe, USA and Japan. He has been Principal Conductor of the Netherland Radio Chamber Orchestra and has collaborated with the Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam, DSO Berlin, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks in Munich, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Cleveland Orchestra, Santa Cecilia in Rome, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie and Wiener Symphoniker. In the following season he will work on new programmes with the New York Philharmonic, DSO Berlin, Orchestra RAI in Turin, Stockholm Philharmonic, Tonhalle in Zurich. After the great success of his tour at the beginning of 2008, Ton Koopman has been nominated Artist in Residence at the Cleveland Orchestra for three consecutive years starting in 2011.

Ton Koopman publishes regularly and for a number of years he has been engaged in editing the complete Händel Organ Concertos for Breitkopf & Härtel. Recently he has published Händel’s Messiah and Buxtehude‘s Das Jüngeste Gericht for Carus. Ton Koopman leads the class of harpsichord at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, is Professor at the University of Leiden and is a Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Ton Koopman is artistic director of the French Festival “Itinéraire Baroque”.

Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir
Ton Koopman founded the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra in 1979. The group consists of internationally renowned baroque specialists who meet up several times a year and work together to prepare and perform new exciting programmes. For the musicians each concert is a new experience and Koopman's boundless energy and enthusiasm are a sure guarantee of the highest quality.

The Amsterdam Baroque Choir was founded in 1992 and it made its debut during the Holland Festival of Early Music in Utrecht performing the world première of the Requiem (for 15 voices) and Vespers (for 32 voices) by H.I.F. Biber. The recording of both of these works won the Cannes Classical Award for the best performance of 17th/18th century choral music. For its rare combination of textural clarity and interpretative flexibility, the Amsterdam Baroque Choir is considered among today’s most outstanding choirs.

In 1994 Ton Koopman and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir embarked upon the most ambitious recording project of the last decades: the integral recording of Bach’s secular and sacred cantatas. For this extraordinary project Koopman and his ensemble received the Deutsche Schallplatten-Preis Echo Klassik. Next to the CD recordings three books have been edited and published by Ton Koopman and the musicologist Christoph Wolff and a series of six documentaries was produced and broadcasted by various TV stations.

Alongside Bach’s music the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir has recorded all major baroque and classical works. Major recognitions include the Gramophone Award, Diapason d'Or, 10-Repertoire, Stern des Monats-Fono Forum, the Prix Hector Berlioz and two Edison Awards. In 2008 the ensemble and Ton Koopman have been honoured with the prestigious BBC Award.

Since March 2003 “Antoine Marchand”, a new sub-label of Challenge Classics, took over the release of Koopman’s new recordings and among many others has published 22 CD boxes of the Bach Cantatas, a new recording of the St. Matthew Passion (on CD and DVD) and St. Markus Passion of J.S. Bach (DVD), live recorded in Milan, as well as the first seven volumes of the Buxtehude Opera-Omnia Edition.

Ton Koopman and the ABO & ABC are regular guests at the major concert halls of Europe, the USA and Japan. In the 2008/09 season they will tour extensively in Europe (Amsterdam, Paris, Madrid, Vienna, Milan, Cologne, Dresden, Düsseldorf etc) and in Far East with concerts in Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo.



Play album
“Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust” BWV 170: Aria: “Vergnügte ruh, beliebte Seelenlust”
“Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust” BWV 170: Recitative: “Die Welt, das Sündenhaus”
“Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust” BWV 170: Aria: “Wie jammern mich doch die verkehrten Herzen”
“Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust” BWV 170: recitative: “Wer sollte sich demnach”
“Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust” BWV 170: Aria: “Mir ekelt mehr zu leben”
“Gott soll allein mein Herze haben” BWV 169: Sinfonia
“Gott soll allein mein Herze haben” BWV 169: Arioso: “Gott soll allein mein Herze haben”
“Gott soll allein mein Herze haben” BWV 169: Aria: “Gott soll allein mein Herze haben”
“Gott soll allein mein Herze haben” BWV 169: Recitative: “Was ist die liebe Gottes?”
“Gott soll allein mein Herze haben” BWV 169: Aria: “Stirb in mir, Welt”
“Gott soll allein mein Herze haben” BWV 169: Recitative: “Doch meint es auch dabei”
“Gott soll allein mein Herze haben” BWV 169: Choral: “Du süße Liebe, schenk uns deine Gunst”
“Widerstehe doch der Sünde” BWV 54: Aria: “Widerstehe doch der Sünde”
“Widerstehe doch der Sünde” BWV 54: Recitative: “Die Art verruchter Sünden”
“Widerstehe doch der Sünde” BWV 54: Aria: “Wer Sünde tut, der ist vom Teufel”
“Ich armer Mensch, ich Sündenknecht” BWV 55: Aria: “Ich armer Mensch, ich Sündenknecht”
“Ich armer Mensch, ich Sündenknecht” BWV 55: Recitative: “Ich habe wider Gott gehandelt”
“Ich armer Mensch, ich Sündenknecht” BWV 55: Aria: “Erbarme dich, laß die Tränen dich erweichen”
“Ich armer Mensch, ich Sündenknecht” BWV 55: Recitative: “Erbarme dich! Jedoch nun tröst ich mich”
“Ich armer Mensch, ich Sündenknecht” BWV 55: Chorale: “Bin ich gleich von dir gewichen”
“Bekennen will ich seinen Namen” BWV 200: Aria: “Bekennen will ich seinen Namen”
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