Ton Koopman / The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir

Famous Cantatas Vol. 1

Price: € 12.95
Format: CD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917289725
Catnr: CC 72897
Release date: 08 October 2021
1 CD
✓ in stock
€ 12.95
Challenge Classics
Catalogue number
CC 72897
Release date
08 October 2021

"Amsterdam Baroque's performances are well worth revisiting."

Choir and Organ, 22-4-2022

About the album

Bach's sacred music written before he went to Leipzig, including all the works from the Weimar period, are often lumped together as "early" cantatas. This is misleading and ultimately inaccurate, since Bach was already 38 years old when he moved from his post as Kapellmeister at Köthen in 1723 to take up his duties as Kantor at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig. In fact most of Bach's church cantatas date from the Leipzig years, as does the consolidation of the stylistic, structural and technical features of his vocal works, but even the repertoire composed before 1714 can hardly be termed "early". The works composed at Mühlhausen, demonstrating a striking sureness of touch in their conception, placed the 22-year-old among the finest contemporary cantata composers. Bach's earliest church cantatas are still clearly marked by 17th-century traditions. As well as the influences of older members of the Bach family, those of Buxtehude and Pachelbel the Elder, and Italian and French masters are evident, technically, structurally and stylistically. A particularly characteristic feature of the pre-Leipzig cantatas is Bach's exceptional delight in experimental and complex handling of an extremely wide range of instruments, with refined sound effects (such as the use of the bassoon) and poly- and homophonic settings and forms.
Dit is het eerste deel in de reeks beroemde Cantates van Johann Sebastian Bach, uitgevoerd door dirigent Ton Koopman en zijn Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir. De cantates komen uit de indrukwekkende verzameling met alle cantates van Bach die Ton Koopman met vertrouwde goede vrienden en medewerkers rond de eeuwwisseling bij elkaar bracht.

De reeks is chronologisch gestructureerd. Deze eerste opname van de serie bevat cantates die Bach componeerde in Mülhausen, in de jaren 1707 en 1708. Er staan vier grote en bekende meesterwerken op, waaruit toen al de beheersing en volwassenheid bleek van de 22-jarige Bach. Deze werken tonen aan dat hij tot een van de beste cantatecomponisten uit die tijd behoorde.

Bachs vroegste kerkcantates zijn nog duidelijk gebaseerd op de tradities van de 17e eeuw. De invloed van oudere leden van de Bach-familie, zowel als die van Buxtehude en Pachelbel en de Italiaanse en Franse meesters zijn in technische, structurele en stilistische zin overduidelijk. Karakteristiek voor de cantates uit de tijd voor Leipzig, is Bachs buitengewone lust tot experimenteren met een breed scala aan instrumenten, met verfijnde geluidseffecten - zoals het gebruik van de fagot - en poly- en homofone vormen.

Bach schreef de meeste cantates als muzikale omlijsting van de zondagse kerkdienst. De cantates sloten inhoudelijk aan bij de lezingen en de preek van die zondag of kerkelijke feestdag. Het was dus functionele gebruiksmuziek, maar van een hoog muzikaal niveau. Vaak beginnen de cantates met een uitgebreid openingskoor, gevolgd door enkele aria's en recitatieven (vertellende stukken, zonder tekstherhalingen).

Tussen 1994 en 2004 nam dirigent Ton Koopman de enorme taak op zich om alle 202 bewaarde cantates – Bach schreef er vermoedelijk 295 - op te nemen met zijn Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir. Het overgrote deel van deze cantates kwam tot stand in de jaren 1723-1725 in de tijd dat Bach in Leipzig verbleef. Althans volgens biograaf Christoph Wolff, met wie Ton Koopman samenwerkte aan het enorme Bach-project. In deze prachtige nieuwe reeks zijn Bachs beroemdste cantates opgenomen.

Bachs geistliche Musik, die vor seinem Wechsel nach Leipzig entstand, einschließlich aller Werke aus der Weimarer Zeit, wird oft als "frühe" Kantaten bezeichnet. Dies ist irreführend und letztlich ungenau, da Bach bereits 38 Jahre alt war, als er 1723 von seinem Posten als Kapellmeister in Köthen nach Leipzig wechselte, um sein Amt als Kantor an der Thomaskirche anzutreten. In der Tat stammen die meisten von Bachs Kirchenkantaten aus den Leipziger Jahren, ebenso wie die Konsolidierung der stilistischen, strukturellen und technischen Merkmale seiner Vokalwerke, aber selbst das vor 1714 komponierte Repertoire kann kaum als "früh" bezeichnet werden. Die in Mühlhausen entstandenen Werke, die eine auffallende Sicherheit in der Konzeption aufweisen, reihen den 22-Jährigen in die Reihe der besten zeitgenössischen Kantatenkomponisten ein. Bachs früheste Kirchenkantaten sind noch deutlich von den Traditionen des 17. Jahrhunderts geprägt. Jahrhunderts geprägt. Neben den Einflüssen älterer Mitglieder der Bach-Familie sind auch die von Buxtehude und Pachelbel d. Ä. sowie von italienischen und französischen Meistern in technischer, struktureller und stilistischer Hinsicht offensichtlich. Besonders charakteristisch für die Kantaten aus der Zeit vor Leipzig ist Bachs außergewöhnliche Experimentierfreudigkeit im Umgang mit den unterschiedlichsten Instrumenten, mit raffinierten Klangeffekten (z. B. dem Einsatz des Fagotts) sowie mit poly- und homophonen Setzungen und Formen.


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. Almost from the beginning of his musical studies he was fascinated with authentic instruments and a performance style based on sound scholarship.

Even before completing his studies he laid the foundations for a career as a conductor of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century music and this fascination with the Baroque era led him in 1969, at age 25, to establish his first Baroque orchestra and, in 1979, to found The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra followed in 1993 by the Amsterdam Baroque Choir.

Koopman's extensive and impressive activities as a soloist, accompanist and conductor have been recorded on a large number of LP's and CD's for labels like Erato, Teldec, Sony, Philips and DGG. Recently Ton Koopman has created his own record label: 'Antoine Marchand', with which he will publish his future recordings.

Over the course of a forty-year career Ton Koopman has appeared at 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 his Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir he has been a regular guest at venues which include the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Theatre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, the Philharmonie in Munich, the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, the Lincoln Center in New York, and leading concert halls in Vienna, London, Berlin, Brussels, Madrid, Rome, Salzburg, Tokyo and Osaka. Over the past ten years Ton Koopman has been engaged in 'the recording project of the '90's' (so described by 'The Guardian' in London). Between 1994 and 2004 he has conducted and recorded all the existing cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach, a massive work for which he has been awarded with the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis "Echo Klassik 1997", the Prix Hector Berlioz, and been nominated for both the Grammy Award (USA) and the Gramophone Award (UK). In March 2000 he received an Honorary Degree from the Utrecht University for his scholarly work on the Bach Cantatas and Passions and in February 2004 he was awarded both the prestigious Silver Phonograph by the Dutch recording industry and the VSCD Classical Music Award 2004 by the Directors of Theatres and Concert Halls of Holland. Ton Koopman is also very active as a guest conductor and he has worked with many prominent orchestras in Europe, the USA and Japan including the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Boston Symphony, the Vienna Symphony, the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Danish Radio Orchestra and many others. He has been for eight years principal conductor of the Radio Chamber Orchestra in Holland and he is principal guest conductor of the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra. In the coming season he will be working with the Chicago Symphony, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Helsinki Radio Orchestra, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, the Frankfurt Radio Orchestra, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra.

Ton Koopman publishes regularly and for a number of years he has been engaged in editing the complete Handel Organ Concerti for Breitkopf & Härtel. Pedagogy has been an important factor in Ton Koopman's life for many years and to that end he is professor of harpsichord at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague and is an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music in London.



Amsterdam Baroque's performances are well worth revisiting.
Choir and Organ, 22-4-2022

If I assume that most readers prefer historically informed performances, period instruments, and adult singers, all of these three completists will please, and this generous collection can be recommended with pleasure. 
Fanfare Magazine, 01-3-2022

Listeners who are looking for a selection of the best-known Bach cantatas rather than an exhaustive traversal may find this new series attractive.
American Record Guide, 01-3-2022

Koopman saves the exam with very good note, proposing a very balanced and stylistically current reading of Bach
Ritmo, 03-1-2022

listed among the 10 best releases of the month
Ritmo, 03-1-2022

Magnificent spiritual fullness in the early 1990s. It is a reminder of what the legendary conductor and harpsichordist achieved, more than 25 years ago now, a mastery which is a major act of sincerity..., 12-12-2021

Play album
Christ lag in Todesbanden BWV 4: Sinfonia
Christ lag in Todesbanden BWV 4: Versus I - Chorus: Christ lag in Todesbanden
Christ lag in Todesbanden BWV 4: Versus II - Duet: Den Tod niemand zwingen kunnt
Christ lag in Todesbanden BWV 4: Versus III - Jesus Christus, Gottes Sohn (tenor)
Christ lag in Todesbanden BWV 4: Versus IV - Chorus: Es war ein wunderlicher Krieg
Christ lag in Todesbanden BWV 4: Versus V - Hier ist das rechte Osterlamm (bass)
Christ lag in Todesbanden BWV 4: Versus VI - Duet: So feiern wir das hohe Fest
Christ lag in Todesbanden BWV 4: Versus VII Choral: Wir essen und leben wohl (chorus)
Gott ist mein König BWV 71: Gott ist mein konig (Chorus)
Gott ist mein König BWV 71: Chorale Aria: Ich bin nun achzig Jahr (Tenor, Soprano)
Gott ist mein König BWV 71: Dein Alter sei wie deine Jugend (Chorus)
Gott ist mein König BWV 71: Arioso: Tag und Nacht ist dein (Bass)
Gott ist mein König BWV 71: Aria: Durch machtige Kraft (Alto)
Gott ist mein König BWV 71: Du wollest dem Feinde nicht geben (Chorus)
Gott ist mein König BWV 71: Das neue Regiment (Chorus)
Aus der Tiefe rufe ich, Herr, zu dir BWV 131: Sinfonia: Aus der Tiefe rufe ich
Aus der Tiefe rufe ich, Herr, zu dir BWV 131: Aria: So du willst (Bass, Soprano)
Aus der Tiefe rufe ich, Herr, zu dir BWV 131: Ich harre des Herrn (Chorus)
Aus der Tiefe rufe ich, Herr, zu dir BWV 131: Aria: Meine Seele wartet auf den Derrn (Tenor, Alto)
Aus der Tiefe rufe ich, Herr, zu dir BWV 131: Israel, hoffe auf den Herrn (Chorus)
Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit (Actus tragicus) BWV 106: Sonatina
Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit (Actus tragicus) BWV 106: a. Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit (Chorus) b. Arioso: Ach, Herr, lehre uns bedenken (Tenor) c. Arioso: Bestelle dein Haus (Bass)
Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit (Actus tragicus) BWV 106: a. Aria: In deine Hande befehle ich meinen Geist (Alto) b. Chorale: Heute wirst du mit mir (Alto, Bass)
Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit (Actus tragicus) BWV 106: Glorie, Lob, Ehr und Herrlichkeit (Chorus)
show all tracks

You might also like..

Five Great Suites for Harpsichord (London, 1720)
Ton Koopman
Complete Chamber Music
Ton Koopman
Opera Omnia - Buxtehude Collector's Box (30cd's & 1DVD)
Ton Koopman
Complete Bach Cantatas Vol. 1-22 (box set)
Ton Koopman & Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir
'Willst du dein Herz mir schenken'
Ton Koopman / Tini Mathot / Klaus Mertens
Matthäus Passion (limited edition)
Ton Koopman / The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir