This box set gathers together Karl Richter's stereo recordings of Bach's choral works that were recorded between 1959-1969. Missing is his final, digital St Matt, the 1961 Mass in B Minor (the 1969 "from Japan" recording is included) and an earlier mono Christmas Oratorio (available on Teldec CDs).
Hearing an album of Bach arias sung by a countertenor may not be essential for every listener. Many of the high arias from Bach's cantatas weren't the kind of operatic pieces that called for a muscular male voice comparable to those that have tackled Handel's arias in similar collections, and Bach, at least much of the time, wrote for female vocalists. If you enjoy countertenor singing, however, this release by Canadian singer Daniel Taylor may be the Bach album of choice.
For her new album Une cantate imaginaire, Nathalie Stutzmann has imagined an “ideal” cantata based on the most beautiful music composed by Johann Sebastian Bach, including vocal arias of course, but also instrumental pieces and even chorales. Arias of gallantry or tenderness, anger, love, fear or despair… every register of expression comes together in her “Cantate imaginaire”, giving birth to an entirely work with an album constructed in a single, continuous breath. An emotional Gem.
Stutzmann performs as soloist and director, imbuing these accounts with personality and vision. Her contralto is distinctive – at once voluptuous and androgynous, with an impressively wide range and sure technique . . . Stutzmann really captures the sublime quality of Bach's sacred music, and the instrumentalists of Orfeo 55 shape the contours and paint the colours of his counterpoint with eloquent grace. The pristine recording throws the details into high relief.