Ton Koopman / Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir

Funeral Cantatas

Format: CD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917228625
Catnr: CC 72286
Release date: 27 June 2008
1 CD
Challenge Classics
Catalogue number
CC 72286
Release date
27 June 2008

About the album

The two cantatas selected for the present album represent particularly representative and distinguished works of mourning character from very different periods in Bach’s creative life. The cantata “Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir” BWV 131 originates from Mühlhausen and was written in 1707 or 1708 for an unknown occasion, most likely an penitential service and perhaps related to the big fire that had devastated large sections of the town of Mühlhausen shortly before Bach’s arrival there in 1707. An annotation by Bach in the original score indicates that that work was commissioned by the pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Mühlhausen, Dr. Georg Christian Eilmar. He apparently was also responsible for the compilation of the libretto.

The Funeral Ode “Laß, Fürstin, laß noch einen Strahl” BWV 198 on the other hand is a large-scale, two-part cantata composed twenty years later in Leipzig in commemoration of the death of the Electress of Saxony and Queen of Poland. It is based on a morning poem in strophic ode format by Johann Christoph Gottsched, at the time Leipzig’s most celebrated literary figure. The artful poem was commissioned by an aristocratic student, Hans Carl von Kirchbach, in the name of the “German Society” at the University and for the academic act of mourning for the death of the Electress of Saxony and Queen of Poland, Christiane Eberhardine, wife of Augustus the Strong. Kirchbach commissioned the music for the event from another Leipzig celebrity, Johann Sebastian Bach, and not from the music director of the University, Johann Gottlieb Görner. The latter complained, but accepted the fact that this was an unusually prominent occasion. The work of 1727 could not be performed again in this form because the text makes concrete references to the queen. However, in 1731 the composer reused major parts of the Funeral Ode for his St. Mark Passion, now lost.
Schitterende cantates uit twee verschillende periodes van Bachs leven
De twee cantates op dit album zijn bijzonder onderscheidende werken met een rouwkarakter die representatief zijn voor de verschillende periodes in Bachs creatieve leven.

De cantate Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir BWV 131 werd in 1707 of 1708 in Mühlhausen gecomponeerd voor een onbekende gelegenheid, waarschijnlijk een boetedienst die mogelijk verband hield met de brand die vlak voor de komst van Bach in 1707 grote delen van de stad verwoestte. De instrumentale bezetting was aan de bescheiden kant. Voor de meeste delen schreef Bach echter gedetailleerde en zeer gevarieerde zesstemmige vocaal-instrumentale texturen in concerto-stijl, met afwisselend polyfone en op akkoorden gebaseerde structuren.

De begrafenisode Laß, Fürstin, laß noch einen Strahl BWV 198 is aan de andere kant een grootschalige, tweedelige cantate die twintig jaar later in Leipzig werd gecomponeerd ter herdenking van het overlijden van de Keurvorstin van Saksen en de Koningin van Polen. Het werk is gebaseerd op een rouwgedicht van Johann Christoph Gottsched, die op dat moment de beroemdste literaire figuur in Leipzig was. Een adellijke student, Hans Carl van Kirchbach, gaf Gottsched namens de universiteit de opdracht om het gedicht te schrijven, en gaf Bach de opdracht om muziek voor de gebeurtenis te componeren. Omdat de tekst duidelijke verwijzingen naar de koningin bevat, kon het werk niet opnieuw in de oorspronkelijke vorm worden uitgevoerd. In 1731 werden belangrijke delen ervan echter opnieuw gebruikt in Bachs verloren gegane Marcuspassie.
Die beiden für diese CD ausgewählten Kantaten stellen besonders repräsentative und hervorragende Werke funeralen Charakters aus sehr unterschiedlichen Perioden von Bachs Schaffens dar. Inhalt: 'Laß, Fürstin, laß noch einen Strahl' BWV 198 & 'Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir' BWV 131


Ton Koopman
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
Laß, Fürstin, laß noch einen Strahl BWV 198: Chorus: Laß, Fürstin, laß noch einen Strahl
Laß, Fürstin, laß noch einen Strahl BWV 198: Recitative (Soprano): Dein Sachsen, dein bestürztes Meissen
Laß, Fürstin, laß noch einen Strahl BWV 198: Aria (Soprano): Verstummt, verstummt, ihr holden Saiten
Laß, Fürstin, laß noch einen Strahl BWV 198: Recitative (Alto): Der Glocken bebendes Getön
Laß, Fürstin, laß noch einen Strahl BWV 198: Aria (Alto): Wie starb die Heldin so vergnügt!
Laß, Fürstin, laß noch einen Strahl BWV 198: Recitative (Tenor): Ihr Leben ließs die Kunst zu sterben
Laß, Fürstin, laß noch einen Strahl BWV 198: Chorus: An dir, du Fürbild grosser Frauen
Laß, Fürstin, laß noch einen Strahl BWV 198: Aria (Tenor): Die Ewigkeit saphirnes Haus
Laß, Fürstin, laß noch einen Strahl BWV 198: Recitative (Bass): Was Wunder ist's?
Laß, Fürstin, laß noch einen Strahl BWV 198: Chrous: Doch, Königin! du stirbest nicht
Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir BWV 131: Sinfonia and Chorus: Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir
Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir BWV 131: Arioso with Chorale (Bass): So du willst, Herr, Sünde zurechnen
Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir BWV 131: Chorus: Ich harre des Herrn
Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir BWV 131: Aria with Chorale (Tenor): Meine Seele wartet auf den Herrn
Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir BWV 131: Chorus: Israel, hoffe auf den Herrn
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