Johann Sebastian Bach: Motets

Johann Sebastian Bach: Motets


Artist: The Bach Sinfonia, Daniel Abraham (conductor & artistic director)

Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach

Format: 1 CD


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Sono Luminus is proud to present this masterful period accurate rendition of Johann Sebastian Bach: Motets, performed on period instruments and accurate vocal part assignments by The Bach Sinfonia, under the direction of renowned conductor and scholar Daniel Abraham. This performance transports the listener to a different time and place, and gives a listening experience as would have been heard by the original audiences. 

No music by J. S. Bach performed as often as his motets leaves so many unanswered questions. Bach’s motets evidently did not have a regular place in the liturgy but were rather for special occasions, and only in one instance do we know for what purpose Bach used a motet. Only two motets are preserved in Bach’s hand or in manuscripts copied for his use, so we are denied the source-critical clues that help to establish the date and function of much of his other vocal music. The lack of original sources also limits our ability to trace the genesis of the pieces, several of which apparently had origins in older material that Bach reworked. And the limited survival of original performing parts restricts our knowledge of Bach’s performance practices in his motets. 

The Bach Sinfonia is dedicated to excellence in performance, public education and disseminating a greater understanding of the variety of styles, composers, and masterpieces of the baroque, pre-classical, and classical periods. Specialists in the performance of music of the 17th and 18th centuries, the ensemble presents concerts, lectures, and other cultural events designed to be not only entertainment but also an educational experience. The Bach Sinfonia has performed for Meetings of the American Musicological Society, for the International Conference Attending to Early Modern Women, at the Concert Hall at Strathmore and other prestigious venues and regularly sells out their performances. Their performances and recordings have received outstanding reviews and international recognition. 

The work of conductor Daniel Abraham has garnered praise from many noteworthy sources including The Washington Post, Choral Journal, the BBC and Early Music America. Abraham’s performances have been nationally broadcast on National Public Radio’s Performance Today, he has appeared at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Concert Hall of the Music Center at Strathmore, The National Women’s Museum of the Arts, and has prepared choruses for the national broadcasts of the Kennedy Center Honors Gala (PBS) and Christmas in Washington (TNT). Abraham is associate professor of music and director of choral activities at American University in Washington, D.C., and is a sought after clinician who has given master classes and clinics throughout the United States, Canada, and as far as Cairo, Egypt. 

This album is sure to charm and intrigue lovers of Bach, period performance practice, and stellar choral music. This release is supported by a three-part interview with Daniel Abraham, available online. 

Track List

Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf, BWV 226
1. Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf [6:03]

Komm, Jesu, komm, BWV 229
2. Komm, Jesu, komm [6:31]
3. Aria: Drum schließ ich mich in deine Hände [1:39]

Fürchte dich nicht, ich bin bei dir, BWV 228
4. Fürchte dich nicht, ich bin bei dir [7:50]
Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, BWV 225
5. Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied [4:35]
6. Choral: Wie sich ein Vater erbarmet / Aria: Gott, nimm
dich ferner unser an [5:09]
7. Lobet den Herrn in seinen Taten [3:24]

Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227
8. Choral: Jesu, meine Freude [1:16]
9. Es ist nun nichts Verdammliches an denen [2:50]
10. Choral: Unter deinem Schirmen [1:13]
11. Denn das Gesetz des Geistes [1:03]
12. Choral: Trotz dem alten Drachen [2:28]
13. Ihr aber seid nicht fleischlich [2:37]
14. Choral: Weg mit allen Schätzen! [1:08]
15. So aber Christus in euch ist [1:58]
16. Choral: Gute Nacht, o Wesen [4:41]
17. So nun der Geist des [1:29]
18. Choral: Weicht, ihr Trauergeister [1:25]
Ich lasse dich nicht, du segnest mich denn, BWV Anhang 159
1 9. Ich lasse dich nicht, du segnest mich denn! [4:51]
Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden, BWV 230
20. Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden [6:52]

Additional Tracks:
Choral setting associated with BWV 226
21. Choral: Du heilige Brunst, süßer Trost [1:58]

Second chorale verse for BWV 225
22. Choral: Die Gottesgnad’ alleine [5:10]

Total time: 76:20
Release date: October 2010
UPC: 053479211927

…enviable technical, musical, and recording quality, stacking up well against the finest accounts available.
— Lindsay Koob, American Record Guide

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