Six Motets (2008)

Bach

Nederlands Kamerkoor

Peter Dijkstra

Our most familiar image of Bach is that of the cantor of the Thomaskirche in Leipzig. For 27 years, Bach was in charge of church music for Sundays and festival music for the four principal churches of Leipzig: the Thomaskirche, the Nicolaikirche, the Peterskirche, and the Neue Kirche. It was here that he composed many of his cantatas, his passions, which have since become famous throughout the musical world, and also his Six Motets. These Motets are occasional compositions, composed for one-time events; four of them were for funerals. Only one of the motets can definitely be linked to a particular occasion: Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf, which was composed for the funeral of Johann Heinrich Ernesti, the rector of the Leipzig Thomasschule, on 24 October 1729. The motet Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden is stylistically and formally rather different from the five others, and as a result Bachs authorship of the composition is still in doubt. The jubilant text of Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, in any case, does not suggest a funereal occasion. Bach researchers have suggested two possible occasions for the work: New Years Day 1727, or the birthday of Friedrich August, at that time the Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, on 12 May 1727. In particular, the texts referring to mortality in the central movement might be explained by Friedrich Augusts recent near-fatal illness. The Motet is written for two four-voiced choirs and consists of three movements, comparable to those of an instrumental concerto: the texts of the lively first and third movements are taken from Psalms 149 and 150. Both movements are veritable songs of rejoicing for two choirs. They flank the meditative second movement, like the Adagio of a concerto, organized around the central structure of a sustained chorale melody. This motet is the composition that made such a deep impression on Mozart during the younger composers visit to the Leipzig Thomaskirche in 1789. The choir had only sung a few measures when Mozart rose from his seat, deeply moved. After a few more measures, he exclaimed: What is this? Now it seemed as though he were listening with his entire soul. When the piece ended, he cried out, joyfully, Now this is something that I can learn from! ......

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Peter Dijkstra

Peter Dijkstra,born in the Netherlands in1978,is one of the leading choral conductors of our time.He comes from a musical family,and as a boy soprano he was in demand as a soloist, for example in opera productions such as Die Zauberflöte with The Netherlands Opera.He studie dchoral and orchestral conducting and voice at the conservatories of The Hague,Cologne and Stockholm,and graduated with honours.Peter Dijkstra was awarded the Kersjes-Van de Groene kam Prize for orchestral conductors in2002,and when he went on to win the Eric Ericson Award 2003 in Stockholm his international career was launched.He now works regularly with choirs such as The Netherlands Chamber Choir,bbc Singers, rias Chamber Choir Berlin,CollegiumVocale Gent and The Danish Radio Choir.Dijkstra is in command of a broad repertoire ranging from early music to premiers of newly composed works.But he is also a welcome guest conductor with orchestras like the SymphonyOrchestra of the Bavarian Radio,Munich RadioOrchestra, dso Berlin,Sinfonietta Amsterdam,Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra and the JapanPhilharmonic.He also enjoys working with period instrument orchestras such as the Akademiefu?r Alte Musik Berlin and Concerto Köln. In 2005,Peter Dijkstra was appointed artistic director of the Choir of the Bavarian Radio inMunich,where he collaborates with conductors including Mariss Jansons,Nikolaus Harnoncourt,Riccardo Muti and Claudio Abbado. 

Nederlands Kamerkoor

No purer sound than the human voice, and no vocal ensemble whose sound has to be more precisely measured and balanced than a chamber choir. The Nederlands Kamerkoor knows a thing or two about that, having been a top-class chamber choir for decades. Their field of activity encompasses the entire chamber choir repertoire, from medieval to contemporary and from a cappella to accompanied. The choir is an independent organisation, not attached to an opera or broadcasting company. As well as putting on its own concert series in a number of Dutch cities, the choir regularly collaborates with ensembles such as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Asko/Schönberg Ensemble and the Orchestra of the 18th Century.

How multifaceted the Nederlands Kamerkoor is these days is demonstrated not only by the programmes in its own subscription series, but also by its many collaborative projects and premieres of works it has commissioned. Among the composers who have written for the choir are Sir John Tavener, Giya Kancheli, Harrison Birtwistle, Mauricio Kagel, Karin Rehnqvist and Edith Canat de Chizy, as well as Dutch composers including Jan Vriend, Elmer Schönberger, Micha Hamel and Joost Kleppe. In many of the works, singers from the choir are given solo roles, proving again and again the enormous versatility of the individual choir members. Permanent guest conductor Peter Dijkstra and choirmaster Klaas Stok play a significant part in the preparation and performance of the very demanding repertoire in which the choir is well versed.

The Nederlands Kamerkoor has released some seventy-five CDs, several of which have been awarded an Edison or a Diapason d'Or. In recent seasons, tours have taken the ensemble to countries such as France, the United States, Canada, Spain and Poland. With unusual programmatic formulas, such as a semi-staged evening of Burt Bacharach songs arranged for chamber choir, or a programme of psalms in the synagogue of the Liberal Jewish Community of Amsterdam, the choir continues its process of rejuvenation. To watch over this process, and over the preservation of the precious chamber choir culture so characteristic of the NKK, the 2011-2012 season sees the arrival of a new chief conductor: the youthful Risto Joost from Estonia. 

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Six Motets (2008)

Bach

Nederlands Kamerkoor

    Audiophile Audition -

Peter Dijkstra has chosen a middle road, opting for a continuo-only approach, and is quite vehement in the notes in his protest against playing these works from a predominantly instrumental standpoint, meaning, more often than not, played too fast. He has a point. Listening to these gorgeous, smooth as silk accounts in marvellous surround DSD, one cannot but be impressed by the beauties of the singing line gently and unobtrusively underpinned by the gentlest of continuo. This is now the best-sounding rendition of these works we have, Channel Classics being one of the most astute purveyors of SACDs out there. The voices display a warmth and burnished resonance that might just buck the Bach trend these days, but certainly does his music a favour far less achieved. Outstanding! 5*

    Katholiek Dagblad

Peter Dijkstra's talent werd snel opgemerkt, vele koren dingen nu naar zijn gunsten (...) Bij Dijkstra is de vocale lijn het belangrijkste. Koor en dirigent snappen elkaars bedoelingen en werken uitstekend samen. Ik hoor mooie lange lijnen, een fraai spanningsopbouw en een transparante koorklank. Het belangrijkste is dat er gezongen wordt. De opname zindert van vreugde en dat is de verdienste van Peter Dijkstra.

    Gramophone

This Dutch ensemble do well by Bach. Dijkstra presents with clarity and works up to a strong, affirmative ending. All in all, he and his choir have served the composer well.

    Absolute Sound -

Other recordings offer very satisfying results but this one captures the essence of these extraordinary works. () These motets have never sounded so fresh alive and exciting, nor has a choir so proficiently and artfully demonstrated the ingenious and powerful musical dialogs in the double-choir works or more handily elucidated the profoundly difficult movements (...) 5 *

    American Record Guide

The performances leave nothing to be desired.

    Audio muziek

Luister naar het couplet Gute Nacht, o Wesen waarin onder meer de soli van Heleen Koele en Marjon Strijk diep weten te ontroeren door hun uitmuntend gerealiseerde coloraturen. Ook door het uitbuiten van de werking van cesuren, zoals in Komm, Jesu, komm geeft Dijkstra aan de muziek een onbetwistbaar extra en eigen lading. Siebe Henstra (orgel) en Lucia Swarts (cello) tekenen voor een prachtig verzorgd continuo-aandeel, zonder ook maar een seconde te overheersen. Hun spel voegt zich wonderwel naar Dijkstra's opvatting die sterk op versmelting van de klankkleuren is gericht. Dat dit laatste de verstaanbaarheid van de tekst geen moment in gevaar brengt, is een prestatie op zich. Dijkstra slaagt er meesterlijk in het altijd actuele van Bach's verbluffende toonkunst voelbaar te maken. De opnames, gemaakt in de Waalse kerk te Amsterdam, zijn mooi ruimtelijk, ongeveer alsof je het koor hoort vanaf de plaats waar de dirigent staat zonder dat de indruk wordt gewekt bij de zangers op schoot te zitten.

    Classics Today -

impressively vibrant energy and authoritative style. These motets never have sounded so fresh, alive, and exciting as on this Channel Classics recording, nor has a choir so proficiently and artfully demonstrated the ingenious and powerful musical dialogues in the double-choir works or more handily elucidated the profoundly difficult and complex movements of Jesu, meine Freude. This latter certainly is the highlight of the disc, each verse a virtuosic display of technique as well as a moving expression of the text. A must!" 10/10

    Luister -

aufnahmetechnisch am hchstem Niveau eingefangen, nmlich als durch und durch transparente, mehrkanalfhige Sach-Einspielung. Bayerische Rundfunk online Peter Dijkstra: Menselijke emoties kun je het beste verklanken met behulp van de menselijke stem en dat is precies wat ik wil: ik wil de puur menselijke tragiek laten horen die in deze werken besloten ligt. () de dirigent Peter Dijkstra geeft het koor de tijd om uit te zingen, waardoor alles warm klinkt () Meesterlijke opname Uitvoering & Registratie 5*

    Gereformeerd Kerkblad

van jongs af aan weet Peter Dijkstra wat zingen betekent, hij heeft begrepen dat ook deze muziek een bepaalde menselijke emotionele lading behoeft. Voor de aanpak van deze dirigent heb ik veel bewondering, dat geldt ook voor deze opname. Adembenemend mooi!!

    Telegraaf

(...) Tot ver over de landsgrens dingen vocale gezelschappen naar de hand van Peter Dijkstra. Hij is koorleider van de Beierse omroep in Mnchen en chef van het Zweeds Radiokoor. Het Nederlands Kamerkoor was zo verstandig de jonge meester tot vaste gastdirigent te benoemen. Het Nederlands Kamerkoor fonkelt met ongekende pracht. Klein gehouden stemmen vormen de basis, ontspanning is het toverwoord. Dijkstra's receptuur biedt optimale kansen aan de resonans, de wendbaarheid, dictie, kleuring, barokke zeggingskracht, kortom aan alles wat dit repertoire zo goed kan gebruiken, maar zelden in deze mate krijgt. Hier meldt zich de complete koordirigent. Wat een genot.

    NRC

Willigheid en doorwrochte formuleringen zijn hem vreemd, Voor Peter Dijkstra, nu al de succesvolste Nederlandse koordirigent, telt slechts de muziek en de manier waarop hij de noten n de stemmen tot zingen optimaal tot klinken kan laten komen. Dat klinkt vanzelfsprekend en precies zo klinkt ook de vocale, melodieuze luchtigheid van de cd (...) Het Nederlands Kamerkoor slaagt erin het stemmenweefsel ook in de meest complexe passages, de vele fugatische delen bijvoorbeeld, doorzichtig en evenwichtig te houden.

Six Motets (2008)

Bach

Nederlands Kamerkoor

Cables:Van den Hul
Digital Converters:Meitner A/D DSD / Meitner DA
Mastering Engineer:Jared Sacks
Mastering Equipment:B&W 803 diamond series
Microphones:Bruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Mixing Board:Rens Heijnis custom design
Producer:Jared Sacks
Recording Engineer:Jared Sacks
Recording location:Waalse Kerk Amsterdam 2008
Recording Software:Pyramix bij Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate:DSD64
Speakers:Audiolab, Holland

Quality & Channel Selection Digitized at DSD64
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27108: Six Motets
01:05:29   Select quality & channels above
Tracks
1.
Komm, Jesu, Komm BWV 229
Bach
00:09:26   Select quality & channels above
2.
Der Geist Hilft Unser Schwachheit auf BWV 226
Bach
00:07:57   Select quality & channels above
3.
Lobet Den Herrn, Alle Heide BWV
Bach
00:06:18   Select quality & channels above
4.
Jesu, Meine Freude BWV 227 - Jesu, Meine Freude
Bach
00:03:58   Select quality & channels above
5.
Jesu, Meine Freude BWV 227 - Unter Deinem Schirmen
Bach
00:02:06   Select quality & channels above
6.
Jesu, Meine Freude BWV 227 - Trotz Dem Alten Drachten
Bach
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7.
Jesu, Meine Freude BWV 227 - Weg Mit Allen Schatzen
Bach
00:02:52   Select quality & channels above
8.
Jesu, Meine Freude BWV 227 - Gute Nacht
Bach
00:05:26   Select quality & channels above
9.
Jesu, Meine Freude BWV 227 - Weicht, Ihr Trauer Geister
Bach
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10.
Furchte Dich Nicht BWV 228
Bach
00:09:07   Select quality & channels above
11.
Singet Dem Herrn Ein Neues Lied BWV 225 - Singet Dem Herrn Ein Neues
Bach
00:04:46   Select quality & channels above
12.
Singet Dem Herrn Ein Neues Lied BWV 225 - Wie Sich Ein Vater Erbarmet
Bach
00:04:41   Select quality & channels above
13.
Singet Dem Herrn Ein Neues Lied BWV 225 - Lobet Den Herr
Bach
00:03:31   Select quality & channels above

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