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Johann Sebastian Bach

La Petite Bande


  • Type SACD
  • Label Challenge Classics
  • UPC 0608917231625
  • Catalog number CC 72316
  • Release date 27 March 2009
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About the album

>In the 1980s, Joshua Rifkin published his Preliminary Report on the workings and makeup of the “choir” in the vocal works of Johann Sebastian Bach. His conclusions (then provisional and to be further elaborated on) radically contradicted the practice of the time, which consisted in unreservedly assuming that by “choir” – indeed – Bach meant a vocal ensemble that has multiple singers per part, resulting in a more or less substantial number of performers.

Before Rifkin, nobody had studied the sources with such seriousness from that standpoint or sought to envision the actual conditions Bach faced in his position as cantor. Rifkin’s findings, thus, were “sacrilegious.” Generally, he concluded, Bach used one singer per part in his cantatas, motets, passions, etc., so there was no “choir” in the modern sense of the word – consequently, the B minor Mass requires just eight vocalists (the Osanna is set for 2 choirs: 2 x 4 singers). The result delivers an unusual transparency and clarity of the musical lines.

Happy Birthday, Sigiswald Kuijken!


image Sigiswald Kuijken has turned 75! He and his ensemble La Petite Bande will be playing the Matthaus Passion in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, April 9th. On March 20th, Sigiswald was on Kunststof, a program on the Dutch radio 1. Listen to this broadcast here (in Dutch) Coming Sunday, April 7th, Sigiswald and his La Petite Bande will be live on Dutch television with Podium Witteman (18.10h - 19.10h, NPO 2).

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