|Todd M. Billeci said:|
These cantatas are played very beautifully. I don't think I've ever heard the Recitatives sung as well. Kooij (bass) is particularly memorable.
However, I was dissatisfied with the interpretation of BWV 18. In the sinfonia, textures are muddied by perpetual legato phrasing in the violas & an overabundance of middle voices that obscures the imitation. There is so much reverb that I count 2-3 seconds of ringing after tutti chords. In the Chorale and Recitative, the tempo increases during passages where the meaning of the text is plaintive and anguished, and which JSB scored for a single voice (soprano) to portray the longing human spirit in prayer. The soprano aria, on the other hand, is sung woefully, to an affirmative text!
Those interested in hearing a reading of BWV 18 where the interpretation matches the text, try Harnoncourt w/ Concentus Musicus Wien. It may not be as polished (it uses boy trebles) but it makes a bit more sense.