"''Kuijken has brought together four singers whose voices blend pretty well.''"Musica Dei Donum, 20-12-2016
La Petite Bande (Belgium) was founded in 1972 by Sigiswald Kuijken at the request of the record company Harmonia Mundi (Germany) in order to record Lully's Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, under the direction of Gustav Leonhardt. The orchestra takes its name and constitution from Lully's own orchestra at the court of Louis XIV. All its members are internationally renowned specialists in the early music field.
Although originally La Petite Bande was not meant to become a permanent orchestra, the success of the recordings was such that they began to give concerts regularly. Having initially concentrated mainly on French music, the orchestra's repertoire has expanded over the years to include music by the Italian masters and that of Bach, Handel, Gluck, Haydn, Mozart and others.
The 18-part CD series 'Cantatas of J.S. Bach' (ACCENT) is complete since February 2014. Sigiswald Kuijken
applies the latest findings in Bach research: no choir, but rather a vocal quartet together with a minimal instrumental scoring. In this way, the fine musical texture of these cantatas can be much better (and more naturally) revealed.
La Petite Bande has recorded instrumental as well as vocal music, including operas and oratorios from the Baroque and Classical periods. La Petite Bande currently makes recordings for Accent, Challenge, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Denon, Seon/Virgin and Hyperion.
La Petite Bande has performed in a multitude of international festivals and concert series, in Europe, Japan, Australia, South America and China.
From 1997 to 2018, La Petite Bande was resident in the city of Leuven.
Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He enriched established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach's compositions include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Mass in B minor, two Passions, and hundreds of cantatas. His music is revered for its technical command, artistic beauty, and intellectual depth.
Bach's abilities as an organist were highly respected during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognised as a great composer until a revival of interest in and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century. He is now generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.
''Kuijken has brought together four singers whose voices blend pretty well.''
Musica Dei Donum, 20-12-2016
A major factor is the performance of the part of the Evangelist. All said and done, if I had to choose one of these recordings, this aspect probably would make me to go for Kuijken.
This delicately expressive and intimate performance captures the tender essence of the Christmas story.
Performance 5 out of 5 stars
Recording 5 out of 5 stars
BBC music Magazine, 30-3-2015
['']...It's a recording to cherish and one that captures the spirit of the work as completely as any i know...['']
International Record Review, 01-3-2015
["].. For all the many fine attributes in this new reading, this is enough of a drawback to place it quite a distance below the front-runners of Harnoncourt, Fasolis, Werner and, more recently, Stephen Layton."
5 tuning forks (diapasons)!
"The threshold of two hundred (!) recordings of the Christmas Oratorio has been crossed according to the Bachcantatas.com website, with extensive discographies. But this is the first time a leader reads this with the light of the choir of soloists, with a reduced number, of which the musicologist Joshua Rifkin demonstrated the relevance a quarter of a century ago and which was already applied and recorded on cd’s of both Passions and the Mass in B by Sigiswald Kuijken."
['']...With Kuijken leading and directing the ensemble from the wing of the instruments, there are only occasional moments when I feel the lack of an independent conductor, but the players where to make the minute adjustments for the singers that give this performance its caressing chamber-music quality without sacrificing its dance-like energy...['']
Early Music Review , 01-2-2015
A moving and exhilarating interpretation which can truly be called the reference recording of Bach's Weihnachtsoratorium. Congratulations!
A sensitive, very nuanced, flowing and very transparent interpretation that is beautifully performed by the Ensemble which is destinated to it.
Der Kurier, 30-12-2014
Music with a superb orchestration
WDR3 TonArt, 22-12-2014
"A sympathetic, peaceful interpretation."
"The Orchestra plays in great balance and the tempi are part of this transparent and smooth implementation."
Klassiek Centraal, 15-12-2014
the most exciting christmas-celebration within livin memory
Süddeutsche Zeitung, 06-12-2014
["] .. All in all not shown where we really been waiting for a time when a real overkill consists of designs and convince many of which interpretation considerably more aware than this , which incidentally does very nicely recorded in the on warm -sounding ambience of the Predikherenkerk Leuven. no, no it is on . it is purely approach Kuijken and that's his prerogative. About taste is not so always strive, because they defended at all costs small and solo vocal line is more a matter of it than anything else. "
It is a brilliant recording which sets new standards.
Next to Kuijken's Weihnachtsoratorium, where you can listen to the musical beauty so slender, transparent and direct, even the best recordings with several vocals leave a trace of plumpness.