|Comments:||Eran Zamir said:|
An interesting recording of the Motets - very sparse, even by the standards of period-instrument recordings. Jacobs conduct at the right pace (for the most part), and it sounds pretty much as Bach himself would have heard it. It is not the best recording of the piece - it lacks a certain majesty - but it is worth the money nevertheless.
Mark Graves said:
If I had but one word to describe this performance and recording: Clean. That's a good thing in my book. The singers are superb, and Jacobs directs all forces with mastery and finesse. These motets present some of Bach's most sublime and personal vocal writing, and Jacobs' group is more than up to the challenge. "Jesu Meine Freude" is easily my favorite of the set, both in general and on this specific recording. The dynamic and textual nuances are revelatory, and the vocal ornamentation is superb. When compared to some of the other "warhorses" on record, even in the period-practice realm, this one at first seems almost minimalistic in approach. Fine with me. Jacobs' bare-bones approach clears the way for directness, intimacy, and power which is lost in a larger context. A friend kept recommending the Gustav Leonhardt recording to me. I checked it out, and quickly threw it out of my player -- this recording is hands-down much better.