Philippe Herreweghe, Collegium Vocale Gent - Johann Sebastian Bach: Oster-Oratorium, Himmelfahrts-Oratorium, Cantatas BWV 2, 20, 43, 44, 66, 176 (2010)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 824 Mb | Total time: 72:34+67:15+53:20 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Harmonia Mundi | # HML 5908354.56 | Recorded: 1993, 1994, 2002
Another entry in Harmonia Mundi's ongoing Bach Edition, this recording from 1993 exemplifies both the consistently high standard of performance we've come to expect from Philippe Herreweghe and his Collegium Vocale and the astonishing musical variety and emotional/spiritual depth of Bach's vocal works. As usual in this series, the program reflects a theme, in this case the feast of Ascension, for which Bach wrote what proved to be his final oratorio (improperly catalogued as a cantata in the original edition of Bach's works) and at least three cantatas. The oratorio contains both original music and, as has recently been shown, several movements taken from cantatas no longer extant. It's a compelling and inexplicably underperformed work, far shorter than Bach's other oratorios, complete with some terrific orchestral music, two wonderful festive choruses, a tenor Evangelist narrator, a charming little duet for tenor and bass, and arias for soprano and alto.