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Harry Christophers & The Sixteen

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Harry Christophers recordings of cantatas

Bradley Lehman wrote (December 9, 2004):
As noted at: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Performers/Christophers.htm there's just the disc of cantatas 50/34/147, and then some of the bigger works. Anybody here happen to know why he hasn't recorded more of the cantatas?

I've been collecting various recordings of 34 since getting to know it with the Beringer recording last year. Delightful piece. I like the way Christophers lets it sound both graceful and exciting at the same time. And the orchestration of that alto aria gives me goose bumps (in a good way) whenever it starts. A daringly leisurely tempo from Christophers and David James here, letting it be especially gentle and placid. Lovely!

Another bonus in this Christophers recording: the two chorale preludes played by Paul Nicholson between the cantatas. Good buffer setting the cantatas apart from one another, and giving an excellent keyboardist opportunity to play. There are a bunch of little chorale preludes by Bach, like this, relegated to volumes of stray miscellany in the organ editions: and they don't get recorded often except in organists' complete sets.

Gabriel Jackson wrote (December 9, 2004):
Bradley Lehman writes: < "As noted at: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Performers/Christophers.htm there's just the disc of cantatas 50/34/147, and then some of the bigger works. Anybody here happen to know why he hasn't recorded more of the cantatas?"
Whether Collins Classics' going bust had anything to do with it I don't know. Over the last couple of years Harry and The Sixteen have acquired those recordings and are gradually reissuing them on their own label Coro. To date they've only released one completely new recording on the label - of Tudor polyphony (including Spem - it's a fantastic disc incidentally). Maybe there will be more Bach in due course.

By the way, the Purcell Quartet (and friends, including, I think Emma Kirkby) are releasing a disc of Bach cantats OVPP early next year, on Chandos.

"And the orchestration of that alto aria gives me goose bumps (in a good way) whenever it starts. A daringly leisurely tempo from Christophers and David James here, letting it be especially gentle and placid. Lovely!"


I must admit I'm not a great fan of David James' singing but I know many are.


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Last update: ęDecember 11, 2004 ę12:13:27