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René Jacobs (Counter-tenor, Conductor)

Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works

General Discussions

201, 205, 213

Jill Gunsell wrote (July 16, 2002):
In autumn 2002 (probably September) Harmonia Mundi will re-release the Jacobs recordings of BWV 201, BWV 205, BWV 213 on a 2-CD set of which title and catalogue number are yet to be announced. The two earlier releases (entitled respectively Cantates Profanes and Phoebus and Pan) are now deleted. This info received today from HM UK.

A few weekend acquirements / René Jacobs

Continue of discussion from: Recordings of Bach Cantatas - General Discussions - Year 2005-2 [General Topics]

Chris Kern wrote (July 11, 2005):
The third was the Leonhardt St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) which I'm listening to right now; my opinion is favorable so far. I like that he takes a slower and less jauntier approach to the initial chorus than most HIP performances (however, the best opening chorus for me still goes to Mauersberger). I also like the boy sopranos. But am I the only one who thinks René Jacobs sounds like a woman? With other countertenors like Blaze and Mera I can tell that they're males.

Boys Pehrson wrote (July 11, 2005):
[To Chris Kern] I agree with your comments regarding Rene Jacobs. His style of singing is womanly. I prefer the Robin Blaze and David Daniels approach to counter-tenor. The counter-tenor sound is an engagingand ethereal sound, and great for spiritual music in providing anuminous effect. Rene Jacobs certainly has emmense talent, and it isn't that I dislike his performances, only that certain works benefit better from his unique sound... like Renassiance music, where melodic virtuosity is not a focus.

Doug Cowling wrote (July 11, 2005):
Boyd Pehrson wrote: < I agree with your comments regarding René Jacobs. His style of singing is womanly. >
I bought the Jacobs recording for one of my favourite pseudo-Bach cantatas, "Schlage Doch" (BWV 53) and was terribly disappointed by his performances. Although his sense of phrasing is impeccable, he has acquired a distinct wobble and has to push to get the high notes: I too was reminded of a quavery female chorister.

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (July 20, 2005):
Schlage doch (was Rene Jacobs)

[To Doug Cowling] You can hear (download) a bunch of recordings of Schlage doch (BWV 53) at:

many more enjoyable than Jabobs' performance.

Lew George wrote (July 22, 2005):
[To Yoël L. Arbeitman] Reasonable point, but last Sunday, being the 8th after Trinity I played BWV 45 under Leonhardt, recorded 1975. René Jacobs sang the alto aria "So wird denn Herz und Mund etc" (BWV 147) very well. And to my ears he sounded male. Bear in mind the date. He has been singing a very long time. No wonder people are starting to talk. They did the same with Melba, Callas, and many others no doubt.

PS Thanks for the downloads

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (July 22, 2005):
[To Lew George] I am not one who said that Jacobs sang like a woman:-). Actually I have no dislike of René Jacobs at all. I have his 1982 Gluck Orfeo (under Kuijken) and find it fairly interesting (although not in the league with either Kowalski Orfeo which are my favorites for the castrato Vienna version). Of course many singers (not all) lose some of their vocal abilities over the years and some at fairly young ages (such as Callas; this is not the place to discuss that sad case). Others remain in top form until older ages. Life is never fair in art as in other things too.

René Jacobs: Short Biography | RIAS-Kammerchor | Academie für Alte Musik Berlin | Recordings | BWV 232 - Jacobs | BWV 248 - Jacobs

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