|David Irvinf said:|
This is definitely one of the greatest discs of cantata performances ever. David Thomas' rendition of "Ich habe genug" is breathtaking and Emma Krikby's Wedding Cantata is a performance that leaves one gasping for more. The accompaniment of the Taverner Players, one-to-a-part, is stunning, especially the oboe obbligati of David Reichenberg.
The first cantata "Ich habe genug" was written for the Feast of Purification and links Simeon's joyful resignation to death with the Christian's hope of heaven. David Thomas is just the right singer for this. One of the wonderful qualities of his singing style is that his voice is rather heavy and "dark-toned", and he makes no pretensions at trying to artificially "sweeten" his tone in BWV 82, as many singers do. His is the best bass voice I have ever heard.
Emma Kirkby's beautiful and pure voice is just right for the Wedding Cantata, and her performance is simply stunning. Again she sings so naturally, and without any "pretension". The natural tone of her voice, undistorted by tremulous vibrato, is what makes her singing so alluring.
Directed from the keyboard by Andrew Parrott, the Taverner Players (comprising of a string quartet, oboe, and keyboard) sound extremely authentic. They play without the artificial polish of vibrato that some baroque groups seem to aim for. Indeed, the "natural" sound that Parrott achieves in every one of his recordings is what has made me relentlessly search out every one of his Bach releases.
In all, this disc is a "must-have" for every Bach-lover. At the moment it is my absolute favourite recording; I would suggest that every colletion should include it.