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GRAMOPHONE (06/2022)
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Reviewer :
David Vickers

In 1731 Bach transposed Ich habe genug up to E minor for soprano and reassigned the oboe part to flute. Michael Maul’s scholarly essay speculates that the soprano version might have been prepared for Bach and his wife Anna Magdalena (a talented soprano) to perform ‘either in a domestic setting among friends or in a service in a castle chapel somewhere between Weissenfels, Eisenach or Kassel’. Miriam Feuersinger’s stylish phrasing, almost entirely vibrato-free timbre and articulate communication of words form an elegantly bittersweet conversation with Tomoko Mukoyama’s gently consoling flute, intelligently contoured strings and subtle continuo realisations by organ and theorbo (seldom available to Bach in Leipzig but easily available nowadays in Basel). ‘Schlummert ein’ has an easy flowing pace and an attractive weightlessness, albeit thin on deep-rooted poignance. Quick passages in ‘Ich freue mich auf meinen Tod’ are sung with disarming fluency. Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke was composed for Septuagesima on February 9, 1727 – only one week after the original bass version of Ich habe genug. It is a contemplation on Christ’s parable of the vineyard. Feuersinger’s intimacy of tone and limpid shaping function in equal partnership with Katharina Arfken’s concertante oboe in two arias, the first solemnly elegiac, the other blithely dancelike.


Notwithstanding the liturgical use of Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen on the 15th Sunday after Trinity, probably in 1730, Maul imagines that the virtuoso soprano cantata featuring high-flying solo trumpet may have been written earlier on for ‘a guest appearance by the Bach couple’ at the castle chapel of Duke Christian of Weissenfels in about February 1729 – maybe the voice part designed for Anna Magdalena to sing in dialogue with trumpet solos played either by her father Johann Caspar Wilcke or one of her brothers-in-law (all court trumpeters at Weissenfels). Invited by the natural momentum of alert yet unhurried strings, Feuersinger’s relaxed conversing with trumpeter Ute Hartwich has purling eloquence. Founded by graduates of the prestigious Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, Capricornus Consort also play interludes between the cantatas – the Trio Sonata for flute, violin and continuo in G, and violinist and director Peter Barczi’s rearrangements for strings of Bach’s organ prelude treatments of the chorale Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend.

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