Bach: Cantatas BWV 61, 122, 123 & 182 - Montréal Baroque
ATMA Classique SACD22403
Classical - Vocal
Bach: Cantatas BWV 61, 122, 123 & 182
Harry van der Kamp
Eric Milnes (conductor)
Review by John Broggio - February 5, 2009
This is the fourth volume of ATMA's ongoing Bach Cantata cycle and it is a big improvement over Bach: Cantatas BWV 1, 82, 147 - Montréal Baroque because Eric Milnes has moderated his previous excesses of interpretative choices. Now pauses fit in the overall conception of phrases and the longer line is immediately identifiable without recourse to a score.
The instrumental group used is substantially larger than on the Accent cycle and more "top heavy" in the string sections which makes the textures at once more concentrated yet lighter. As with the Accent cycle, Milnes is of the mind that the chorus should only be one voice per part and this helps keep the diction clear. The orchestral playing is good (as might be expected) although the larger forces do rather smooth over some textures in a way that gives Kuijken's set spice. The singing is good but not perhaps first class, especially for the somewhat stentorian Harry van der Kamp.
The sound is a little distantly miked than might be considered ideal, again smoothing over expressive aspects of both playing and singing - although it does lend give a lovely glow to their tone (where possible).
If one is collecting the series, then this is an easy addition - for a sample of Bach's output in this medium the BIS or Accent series would make for more reliably interesting accounts.
Copyright © 2009 John Broggio and HRAudio.net