Sunday, 4 June 2017

Carolyn Sampson sings Bach

As the proud possessor of 270 (!) recordings of the cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach, I am somewhat baffled as to why I am still adding to my collection. When on earth am I going to listen to 270 recordings?

Be that as it may, the latest CD to arrive chez moi features the wonderful Carolyn Sampson singing three cantatas with the Freiburger Barockorchester. The CD has everything I require of a good Bach cantata recording: first class music, first class singing, fine instrumental backing, and a good recorded sound. Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten is deservedly well known and features some of Bach's best secular cantata music. It is difficult to sing, but Sampson manages it superbly. Tritt auf die Glaubensbahn adds a bass-baritone, Andreas Wolf, and very effective he is too, with a nice contrast to the soprano part. Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut is another well known cantata that confirms that Sampson is not just a pretty voice, but also responds intelligently to the words she is singing. Fine oboe playing (Katharina Arfken) throughout the cantatas add up to a welcome addition to my Bach cantata discography.

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