Recreation for the Soul (2014)

Bach

Magdalena Consort

Bach’s ambition to compose a body of ‘well-regulated church music’ – liturgical music for the entire church calendar – produced a wealth of sacred cantatas. Around two hundred have survived, and are an eloquent expression of his opinion that ‘true music should be for the honour of God and the recreation of the soul’. That comment – made with respect to the art of realising a figured-bass (where harmony is indicated by numbers) – seems appropriate to this collection, since the choice of these glorious works was influenced by a consideration of number symbolism and other extra-musical devices. That this most cerebral music touches the emotions so keenly might seem a paradox, but as a performer, analysing the possible thinking behind Bach’s musical decisions brings the composer closer.
Behind the unmatched contrapuntal intricacy of Bach’s music lie yet further layers of complexity, his compositional choices being prompted by the demands of symbolism of various kinds, rhetorical and numerological. Since ancient times, simple proportions had been understood to lie at the heart of musical sound. Mediaeval musicians, finding perfection in the Trinity, developed systems of notation accordingly, with the outcome that triple time was considered tempus perfectum; duple time imperfectum. Given that metre is such an evident characteristic of any music, and since triple time is something that – for us bipeds – will always be a dance, this central tenet of Christian doctrine had considerable (and possibly unintended) consequences for the character of sacred music. Bach, in addition to references to the Trinity (3 and its powers 9 and 27) and Christ’s age (33), also gave significance to numbers derived from his own name (BACH=14, 41=JSBACH, where A=1, B=2 etc.). Since composition apparently cost him comparatively little effort, ‘recreation’ for Bach’s soul seems to have lain in a delight in such convolutions; but whether as compositional spur, marks of devotion or for his private satisfaction, we can only speculate.

Read more

Magdalena Consort

The Magdalena Consort was founded in 2008 by Peter Harvey and is acclaimed for its virtuoso chamber performances of sacred vocal music from Monteverdi to Bach. Since its inaugural concert in the prestigious Festival of Santiago de Compostela in Spain, the Magdalena Consort has performed both vocal and instrumental works in major international festivals across Europe. These include a concert of Bach cantatas for the MDR (Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk) Musiksommer festival in the ‘Bach Church’, Arnstadt (where BWV 150 might well have been composed, if not performed), chamber-music with Bach solo cantatas for bass voice in the Istanbul International Music Festival, and ‘The Ages of Man’ (a programme on the theme of births, marriages and deaths – as alluded to in the music of Bach and his predecessors) in the Sopron ‘Early Music Days’ in Hungary. The Magdalena Consort’s concert in the 2011 Cheltenham Music Festival, a programme of Bach cantatas illustrating Bach’s fascination with numbers – entitled ‘To the Power of Three’ – was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, and sowed the seed of the present recording. Further appearances in the UK have included extremely well-received performances of the Monteverdi Vespers – with ‘madrigalian’, rather than choral forces – at both the Cheltenham and Tetbury Festivals, and concerts of Bach and earlier German sacred music in St Bartholomew-the-Great, London and in the Stour Music festival in Kent.
In addition to using period instruments, the group aims to perform with historically appropriate numbers of players and singers, which encourages the chamber-music approach which is central to its vivid sound. Joshua Rifkin was the first to argue that Bach commonly performed his vocal works with one singer per part, rather than employ a ‘choir’ in the traditional sense, and it is this approach that the Magdalena Consort adopts. It is fair to say that there is still a healthy debate surrounding the question, but, from a performer’s perspective, this approach facilitates communication between the performers so that the counterpoint – the independence of individual musical lines which so strongly characterises Bach’s music – can be enjoyed with the maximum freedom. In addition to the present performers, the group has regularly worked with singers Julia Doyle, Gillian Keith, Robin Blaze and Charles Daniels, and violinists Matthew Truscott and Jean Paterson as orchestral leaders.

 

Read more

Recreation for the Soul (2014)

Bach

Magdalena Consort

    Fono Forum -

(...) Das Magdalena Consort balanciert gekonnt auf dem schmalen Grat von polyphoner, instrumental inspirierter Vokalvirtuosität, bei der Instrumente zu Stimmen werden und umgekehrt, und auf der anderen Seite von rhetorischer Ausdruckskunst, als gelte es, die barocke Figurenlehre vom Grund auf neu aufzurollen. Diese Zweiheit macht die besondere Qualität dieser Aufnahme aus.

    Music-Web - John Quinn

(...) these are stylish and thoughtful performances given by musicians who are thoroughly versed in Bach performances. I enjoyed these cantata performances very much indeed. My enjoyment was enhanced by the excellence of the recorded sound and the excellent quality of the documentation. I look forward to further recordings from this fine ensemble.

    Stereophile -

(...) the Magdalena Consort produces intimate performances (...) The gentle, transparent, nonchurchy sound is the perfect complement to these beautiful works. Stereophile

Recreation for the Soul (2014)

Bach

Magdalena Consort

Cables:Van der Hul
Digital Converters:Grimm AD
Mastering Engineer:Jared Sacks
Mastering Equipment:B&W 803 diamond
Microphones:Bruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Mixing Board:Heinis custom made
Producer:Jared Sacks
Recording Engineer:Jared Sacks
Recording location:Crystal Palace London
Recording Software:Pyramix
Recording Type & Bit Rate:DSD64

Quality & Channel Selection Digitized at DSD64
Select Quality and Channels to calculate the price below More info

Quality

  • DXD
  • 64fs
  • 128fs
  • 256fs

Channels

This album is available as ST+MCH download (Stereo + Multichannel)
For albums, lower DSD bit rates (128 and/or 64) are available at no surcharge. This does not apply for DXD selection.
Album Download duration price
35214: Recreation for the Soul
00:58:23   Select quality & channels above
Tracks
1.
BWV 78 - Jesu, der du meine Seele-Jesu, der du meine Seele
Bach
00:04:58   Select quality & channels above
2.
BWV 78 - Jesu, der du meine Seele-Wir eilen mit schwachen
Bach
00:01:50   Select quality & channels above
3.
BWV 78 - Jesu, der du meine Seele-Ach! Ich bin ein Kind
Bach
00:01:21   Select quality & channels above
4.
BWV 78 - Jesu, der du meine Seele-Das Blut, so meine Schuld
Bach
00:01:56   Select quality & channels above
5.
BWV 78 - Jesu, der du meine Seele-Die Wunden,
Bach
00:02:52   Select quality & channels above
6.
BWV 78 - Jesu, der du meine Seele-Nun du wirst
Bach
00:02:40   Select quality & channels above
7.
BWV 78 - Jesu, der du meine Seele-Heer, ich glaube
Bach
00:00:56   Select quality & channels above
8.
BWV 150 - Nach dir, Herr , verlanget mich -Sinfonia
Bach
00:01:25   Select quality & channels above
9.
BWV 150 - Nach dir, Herr , verlanget mich -Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich
Bach
00:03:07   Select quality & channels above
10.
BWV 150 - Nach dir, Herr , verlanget mich -Doch bin und bleibe
Bach
00:01:17   Select quality & channels above
11.
BWV 150 - Nach dir, Herr , verlanget mich -Leite mich in deiner Wahrheit
Bach
00:01:50   Select quality & channels above
12.
BWV 150 - Nach dir, Herr , verlanget mich -Cedern mussen von den winden
Bach
00:01:21   Select quality & channels above
13.
BWV 150 - Nach dir, Herr , verlanget mich -Meine Augen
Bach
00:01:56   Select quality & channels above
14.
BWV 150 - Nach dir, Herr , verlanget mich -Meine Tage in den Leiden
Bach
00:02:52   Select quality & channels above
15.
BWV 147- Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben - Herz un Mund un Tat und Leben
Bach
00:03:35   Select quality & channels above
16.
BWV 147- Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben - Gebenedeiter Mund!
Bach
00:01:38   Select quality & channels above
17.
BWV 147- Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben - Schame dich,
Bach
00:03:57   Select quality & channels above
18.
BWV 147- Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben - Verstockung kannGewaltige verblenden
Bach
00:01:30   Select quality & channels above
19.
BWV 147- Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben - Bereite dir, Jesu
Bach
00:04:47   Select quality & channels above
20.
BWV 147- Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben - Wohl mir, dazz ich Jesum habe
Bach
00:02:43   Select quality & channels above
21.
BWV 147- Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben - Hilf, Jesu, hilf
Bach
00:02:57   Select quality & channels above
22.
BWV 147- Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben - Der Hochsten Allmacht Wunderhand
Bach
00:02:04   Select quality & channels above
23.
BWV 147- Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben - Ich will von Jesu
Bach
00:02:26   Select quality & channels above
24.
BWV 147- Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben - Jesus Bleibet meine Freude
Bach
00:02:25   Select quality & channels above

User Reviews

Other albums from this label