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Masaaki Suzuki & Bach Collegium Japan
Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works
General Discussions - Part 4

Continue from Part 3

Sketchy thoughts on Suzuki and 'Reverence' and 'Spirituality'

Tom Dent wrote (July 13, 2005):
From what I have heard of Suzuki, he has a concept of religion that is very much emphasizing the aspects of quietness, of contemplation, of meditation; at least given his musical priorities and how these feed through into the realization of texts. And from what I know of Lutheran pietism, it contained all these aspects, but also many others, including violence, pain, suffering, noisy jubliation, and even humour... in fact scarcely any aspect of human existence that did not find its place in the cantata and Passion texts. There is an old distinction between the 'contemplative life' and the 'active life' and there is surely a good deal of forceful action in those works which can scarcely be expressed musically without a certain amount of roughness.

Now, my own interest in this is really in having Bach performances that fully realize (without overacting, to be sure!) the expressive potential of each piece. So I will end up with a question, for those who have listened to Suzuki following the German text (and not just experiencing the sheer beauty of the sound): does he make the more action-packed moments as forceful as they should be? Is his Passion only compassion from afar? Does he present a real human drama?

Boyd Pehrson wrote (July 13, 2005):
[To Tom Dent] Suzuki and Bach Collegium Japan performed the Bach passions according to St John (BWV 245) and St Matthew (BWV 244) at Royce Hall in UCLA a couple of years ago. I attended both performances. The soloists included Robin Blaze and Gerd Turk. The performances were very dramatic, and quite compelling. There are two observations I offer regarding your question; first, the performance objective of Suzuki, as far as I can tell, is perfection. This tightly controlled balance of perfection would naturally exact a cost from other less tangible nuances of performance. Second, call it heart, or spirit, or enthusiasm, it was present in those performances, but in a highly controlled way, and so the sense of spontenaity was missing. The Old Instruments were not strong in the acoustics of Royce Hall. This too may have dampened the impact a bit. (Nevertheless, those were stunning live performances which cannot be matched here in the USA.)

Thomas Braatz wrote (July 13, 2005):
Tom Dent wrote:
>>And from what I know of Lutheran pietism, it contained all these aspects, but also many others, including violence, pain, suffering, noisy jubliation, and even humour... in fact scarcely any aspect of human existence that did not find its place in the cantata and Passion texts. There is an old distinction between the 'contemplative life' and the 'active life' and there is surely a good deal of forceful action in those works which can scarcely be expressed musically without a certain amount of roughness.<<
Here is what Philipp Spitta, who already attempted at the end of the 19th century to clear up the common misconception of Bach as a representative of Lutheran Pietism, had to say about this matter in his great Bach biography [Dover, 1951,1979, Part 1, pp. 362-363]:

>>Indeed, it is beyond dispute that Bach was an adherent and admirer of Eilmar, [the Archdeacon in Mühlhausen, a more liberal spirit] and consequently, as things stood, more or less inimical to Frohne [the superintendent in Mühlhausen, conservative in matters of upholding the tenets of Pietism]. How this could be we cannot but ask with surprise, for is not Bach's leaning towards pietism supposed to be an ascertained fact? It is in fact supposed to be established from certain internal coincidences of evidence. But it never seems to have been duly considered whether the Pietistic views of art and life must not from the very outset have counteracted any such bias in his mind. All art, as art, asserting itself for its own sake, in the mind of the Pietist fell under the designation of "the world" to which, as they deemed, every true Christian must find himself in primitive, direct antagonism ; they declared with more or less unreserve that the artistic pleasures, which orthodoxy regarded as indifferent (Greek: 'adiaphora'), and in themselves neither good nor evil, but capable of becoming either one or the other according to circumstances, could not be reconciled with a way of life of which every instant should be answered for before God, and that they were therefore to be avoided as tending to seduce and destroy the soul. It was only in so far as art devoted itself unselfishly, so to speak, to the service of religion, and contributed to individual edification and awakening, that it could escape condemnation. With regard to music, therefore, in Pietistic circles, nothing was encouraged but "spiritual songs" of the narrowest type, which followed the verse as closely and simply as possible, and at the same time were utterly opposed to all sentiment. Every attempt tending to extend the forms of church music as an art, and to combine them into a more massive whole, or to introduce entirely new forms borrowed from the denounced music of operas, must have appeared, from the Pietistic point of view, absolutely reprobate. For all that in the best instances might be detected in these as an edifying and elevating power was, as they could not fail to see, by no means that contemplative "drawing near" to God which they sought for, and thought could only be found by abnegation of the "world"; it had only grown up as the embodiment and idealization of historical development. Now Bach saw, as he himself admits, that it was part of his life-task to raise sacred music to a new and higher aim, by fusing all that had been hitherto produced; and it was precisely in Mühlhausen that he first began to work energetically and with eager inspiration to that end. Since Frohne, according to his convictions, could only endure such an advance to a very moderate degree, he could not but endeavor to suppress the luxuriant productive power of the great musician, and probably never guessed that in so doing he was choking his very life-currents. Here was an antagonism in principles enough of itself to send Bach over from the camp of a noble minister of the church to the side of his opponent. It would also seem that Eilmar had musical tastes, and was in favor of the development of church music on new lines. But we must go still farther, and assert that Bach had never been of Frohne's party, and had not been forced to attach himself to Eilmar by flying for his life-in the sense of his art. The close connection which he soon established between Eilmar and his own family requires us to assume that they had some feelings and opinions in common..<<

Michael Telles wrote (July 13, 2005):
[To Tom Dent] In response to Tom's question, I would argue that Suzuki does tend to round off some of the edges in the music (the commentator on BBC 3 pointed out BWV 78 as an example that lacks spark compared to Koopman's) but I would also argue that Suzuki achieves tension through a different avenue. For instance, it's the very precision -- rather than the volume or tempo -- of the chorus in the "Laß ihn kreuzigen" movement of St. Matthew (BWV 244) that adds to the horrific tension, in my opinion. And to take another obvious example, the opening bars and bursts of the chorus in St. John (BWV 245) are deeply distressing and yet manage to avoid the self-conscious drama I've heard in other versions. In Cantata BWV 33, the tidiness and lightness of the chorus and players enhances the sense of joy and laughter. My principal point is that Suzuki doesn't avoid tension but uses means other than volume or tempi to get there. Perhaps it is not always effect.

I would like to repeat, however, that I'm merely explaining why my taste has tended toward Suzuki, and that I'm therefore dealing on the level of opinion. I'm not sure if it's possible to determine whether or not Suzuki is appropriately tuned in to the texts or if he's at an intellectual remove from them; I can only claim that my experience of the cantatas through Suzuki has been vivid and moving.

Tom Dent wrote (July 14, 2005):
[To Thomas Braatz] Well, then, let us imagine that instead of 'pietism' I wrote something else which correctly denotes the religious attitudes expressed in the wide-ranging cantata and Passion texts. It is merely a matter of nomenclature. Shall we say the tongue-twister 'post-pietistic' instead? What would you call Picander's faith, other than plain Lutheranism?

Jeremy Vosburgh wrote (July 14, 2005):
Michael Telles brought up the subject of BWV 78 as an example of Suzuki's different approach to Bach's cantatas and I think it is an excellent choice. I think BWV 78 exemplifies what everyone dislikes about Suzuki all in one brilliant cantata. I must say that I generally like Suzuki's interpretations the best as well as his reverent sound, but sometimes his "rounding of the edges" as Michael stated, dont' have the best effects.

As Suzuki does often, he will speed up any chorus, duet, or aria to breakneck speed if it even mentions anything in the text associated with haste. For some reason this generally works with choruses but has an awful effect on duets and solos. While this may be astute of him to notice, I can't help thinking that, for the case of duets and arias in BWV 78, instead of the mental image of one cautiously walking in their approach of an almighty god, I instead see a frightened person sticking their head out the window of a car they are driving at 70 mph on a collision course with an almighty god. The expression put forth by Daniel and Yukari is first rate but it doesn't match the tempo. "We hasten with failing but diligent paces, O Jesus, O master, to thee for thy help." Failing and diligent.... It must be some fast baby learning to walk. I suppose one could think of the faithful as being children who are trying to follow their parents and calling for help. For me I prefer Richter's slower approach which still had a sense of urgency. The repeated turns in the coloratura seemed so much more personified struggles than Suzuki's mere "blips on a run."

When compared next to the anguished tenor's exposition that follows, Suzuki's cantata seems almost schizophrenic. Suzuki does know what he's doing (I just don't like it) and dutifully removes most of the anguish emotion from the interpretation. It works, but the cantata no longer reaches anyone (IMHO) on a personal level at this point. Richter's cautios yet eager duet with Ursula and Hertha seems to foreshadow Van Kesteren's heart rending confession and then declaration of reliance on Jesus' redeeming blood (why don't more people talk about this guy?). Sakurada has a beautiful voice but can only have the effect of "sighing" at Yukari and Daniel's frightened state. Engen comes in after Van Kesteren as the voice of God and tells everyone "how it is." Kooy comes in and does the same but with about one quarter the voice. Following Suzuki's introductions, Kooy sounds like he is lightly lecturing. Following Richter's introduction Engen sounds like God. (Both of the chorales were forgettable)

For Suzuki, one mistake with tempo in the first duet seemed to ruin the entire performance. I think this exemplifies how Bach's cantatas must be taken as a whole and never as separate pieces. I'm not saying that Suzuki didn't think of the cantata as a whole, I'm simply saying how easy it is to ruin an entire cantata with one mistake.

I still love Suzuki's cantatas but must say that I had been looking forward to hearing his BWV 78 and, like most people, was disappointed. The reverent quality was there but the interpretation was not to my liking.

 

Suzuki Cantata Series

Francis Browne wrote (August 3, 2005):
It may be of interest to some members of the list that all volumes (1-27) of Suzuki's recordings of the cantatas are available at www.mdt.co.uk at a reduced price until January 2006. Vol 28 can be preordered.

(who alas does not get a payoff, but finds such constant delight in these performances that it seems worthwhile to help make this marvellous and continuing achievement as widely known as possible)

 

Suzuki Cantatas

John Pike wrote (August 17, 2005):
Many thanks to all those who have been recommending these recordings over the years, especially to Peter Bright and to Francis Browne, who pointed out that MDT were selling them cheeply at present (UKP 9.50). I took advantage of this and bought the first few volumes. I am absolutely hooked. So far, I have heard vols. 1 and 2. I disagree with those who find them tecnically perfect but lacking emotion. This includes my wife, who found the approach a bit too clinical for her taste.

Personally, apart from a high level of technical perfection, with excellent choir, soloists and instrumentalists, superb intonation, and excellent recording quality, acoustics etc, I found the performances deeply thoughtful, committed, responsive to the music, thrilling and very warm, with a real love for the music apparent. I also found the performances had a nice gestural approach, but with a good sense of flow and overall shape as well, and I thought there was a nice sense of tension and release.

Purchasing the other volumes over the next 6 months, before the cheap offer ends, is now a priority for me!

Peter Bright wrote (August 18, 2005):
[To John Pike] Many thanks John...

As a further warm welcome to the world of Bach Collegium Japan, I have uploaded a new file (mp3, size 3MB) of movement 9 from BWV 21 - one of the most glorious pieces of music that I know of. To my mind, this is a brilliant demonstration of what a period instrument approach brings to such music - warmth, suppleness and purity in equal measure. When the trombones enter toward the end, the effect is incredibly moving... See what you think: http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BachCantatas/files/

By the way, I have removed the previous Suzuki file from vol. 28.

John Pike wrote (August 18, 2005):
[To Peter Bright] Suzuki's recording of BWV 21 is amongst those that I purchased the other day, and I will get round to hearing it soon. I agree about the cantata. It was the first Bach cantata I ever heard. My father had a copy of Richter's recording (from the late 50s/early 60s?) and I listened to it endlessly. Absolutely glorious!

Gardiner and Suzuki

John Pike wrote (August 26, 2005):
I have been listening to the latest album in Sir John Eliot Gardiner's cantata cycle, released last week. I thoroughly enjoyed it, as with all his previous releases. I thought there was some very deeply felt and beautifully shaped music-making. I thought the recording of the wonderful BWV 80 which ends CD2 was magnificent, probably the best recording I have heard so far. One really had a great sense of "Ein feste Burg" with the wonderful opening bars, and what follows lives up to expectations.

I have also listened to 5 of the first 6 Suzuki volumes. My initial impressions on hearing Suzuki's recordings are wonderful. I remarked on the qualities in an e mail a few days ago, and subsequent listening has not dented the splendid initial image. My main reservation was about the opening movment of BWV 54 "Widerstehe doch der Sünde". I found this too fast for my liking. I much prefer the slower tempo of other recordings I have heard and which I commented on a few months ago. Since that time I have heard Deller's recording with Harnoncourt, which I think is the best of all the recordings I have heard (indeed a desert island disc for me). I do think the tempo chosen by Suzuki allows the musicians to do full justice to shaping the music or to enjoy all those glorious disharmonies we discussed during our week's discussion of the work, and I don't think it sits well with the words either. The "doch" in this context is emphasising the standing firm against sin, and I think the tempo chosen doesn't assist in creating that image. Bach may have parodied this music for the aria "Falsche Welt" in his St Mark Passion (BWV 247), the music of which is now lost, and the words for that aria, too, might assist one in chosing a speed for this music which Bach would have intended.

 

Suzuki vol 30 and the Easter/Ascension Oratorios

Peter Bright wrote (February 21, 2006):
Just wanted to say how much I'm enjoying the new Suzuki vol. 30 of his cantatas series and his disc of the Easter (BWV 249) and Ascension (BWV 11) Oratorios. Of the two CDs, vol. 30 is the more impressive - and includes a recording of the complete BWV 1127 (all 12 stanzas!), discovered last year. After reading a multitude of reviews pointing out its 'lightweight', and 'minor' qualities, I was bowled over - it is a deeply beautiful piece of music.

Kevin Collins wrote (February 22, 2006):
[To Peter Bright] I will be going to Suzuki's concert tonight. It will be the first time for me to see his group live and I just can't wait!!! I have also been gobbling up his CD's recently but I read this web site before I listen to the piece.

I should take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Kevin Collins and I am the Director of Instrumental Music at an international School / church musician. My sudden and recent rekindled interest in the music of Bach is purely spiritual (that includes musical). The recently heard the Magnificat performed live by just a semi-pro group and I was simply brought to tears. I can't imagine what tonight will be like.

I want to thank the creators and contributors of this sight. I use it daily and this is sure to be a long-term obsession.

Thank you

Peter Bright wrote (February 22, 2006):
[To Kevin Collins] It would be great if you would let us know your thoughts on the concert...

Peter Bright wrote (February 22, 2006):
file uploaded from Suzukui vol 30 (plus comparison aria)

Volume 30 of Suzuki's cantata series includes BWV 51 (with soloist Carolyn Sampson). One of my favourite of all arias is 'Hochster, mache deine Gute' (mv iii). I thought it might be of interest to list members, so I have uploaded it to the Bach Cantatas file area ( http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BachCantatas/files/ ). For comparison purposes, I have also uploaded Elisabeth Schwarzkopf's performance of the same piece (recorded in 1950) - this is from one of my all time favourite discs (the Schwarzkopf Bach issue on the EMI Classics References series).

The files are fairly low quality, as there is very little space left in the file repository:

*BWV51_Schwarzkopf_aria_Hochster_Mache_Deine_Gute.m4a
*BWV51_Suzuki_vol_30_aria_Sampson.m4a

Kevin Collins wrote (February 27, 2006):
[To Peter Bright] Thank you Peter,

From a spiritual point of view it was simply magnificent. There is a warmth to their sound, a connectedness to the text and underlying themes, and a sense that no one person is trying to draw attention to themselves. I felt that they served the purpose of the music.

Musically, everyone was brilliant and Suzuki's conducting is precise and animated. There are so many clever things in score that I hope to sit down and look over.

They are doing SMP (BWV 244) on Good Friday and I'm studying up.

 

Suzuki / Bach Collegium Japan on tour

Bradley Lehman wrote (March 21, 2006):
The Bach Collegium Japan stopped for a night in Berkeley , California on their current USA tour. No vocal works unfortunately. But the program was marvelous in all respects. The 2nd Orch suite, the concerto for 2 violins, a harpsichord concerto, the 5th Brandenburg. Absolutely splendid. The group returned for an encore performance of the Sinfonia from BWV 21 "Ich hatte viel bekummernis". And that made the night for everyone.
Except for me, of course. I left with a heavy longing to hear the rest of BWV 21. The hour drive home was sheer misery.

I CAN'T STAND EXCERPTS!

What did I do to bring on such punishment? I thought the constitution of the US banned "cruel and unusual
punishment".

 

Suzuki 7-CD set of "Easter" cantatas

Bradley Lehman wrote (March 28, 2006):
I see that Musical Heritage Society has a special offer currently, putting 7 volumes of Suzuki's series into a box for $69.98 USD:

Details below.

They also have a 5-CD set for $64.95 putting together Suzuki's recordings of the St Matthew and St John passions, plus a 76-page booklet.
http://www.musicalheritage.com

Vol. 1, Nos. 4, 150 & 196 (5183171):
Cantatas: No. 4, Christ lag in Todesbanden, BWV4; No. 150, Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, BWV150; No. 196, Der Herr denket an uns, BWV196.
Yumiko Kurisu, Soprano; Akira Tachikawa, Countertenor; Koki Katano, Tenor; Peter Kooy, Bass;
Bach Collegium Japan; Masaaki Suzuki, Director.

Vol. 3, Nos. 12, 54, 162 & 182 (5183180):
Cantatas: No. 12, Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen, BWV12; No. 54, Widerstehe doch der Sunde, BWV54; No. 162, Ach, ich sehe, itzt, da ich zur Hochzeit gehe, BWV162; No. 182, Himmelskonig, sei willkommen, BWV182.
Yumiko Kurisu, Soprano; Yoshikazu Mera, Countertenor; Makoto Sakurada, Tenor; Peter Kooy, Bass;
Bach Collegium Japan; Masaaki Suzuki, Director.

Vol. 6, Nos. 21 & 31 (5183199):
Cantatas: No. 21, Ich hatte viel Bekummernis, BWV21 (with alternative movements); No. 31, Der Himmel lacht, die Erde jubilieret, BWV31.
Monika Frimmer, Soprano; Gerd Turk, Tenor; Peter Kooij, Bass;
Bach Collegium Japan; Masaaki Suzuki, Director.

Vol. 7, Nos. 61, 63, 132 & 172 (5183206):
Cantatas: No. 63, Christen, atzet diesen Tag, BWV63; No. 61, Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV61; No. 132, Bereitet die Wege, bereitet die Bahn, BWV132; No. 172, Erschallet, ihr Lieder, BWV172.
Ingrid Schmithusen, Soprano; Yoshikazu Mera, Countertenor; Makoto Sakurada, Tenor; Peter Kooij, Bass;
Bach Collegium Japan; Masaaki Suzuki, Director.

Vol. 18, Nos. 66, 67 & 134 (5183215):
Cantatas: No. 66, Erfreut euch, ihr Herzen, BWV66; No. 67, Halt im Gedachtnis Jesum Christ, BWV67; No. 134, Ein Herz, das seinen Jesum lebend weiß, BWV134.
Robin Blaze, Countertenor; Makoto Sakurada, Tenor; Peter Kooij, Bass; Bach Collegium Japan;
Masaaki Suzuki, Director.

Vol. 19, Nos. 37, 86, 104 & 166 (5183224):
Cantatas: No. 37, Wer da glaubet und getauft wird, BWV37; No. 86, Wahrlich, wahrlich, ich sage euch, BWV86; No. 104, Du Hirte Israel, hore, BWV104; No. 166, Wo gehest du hin?, BWV166.
Yukari Nonoshita, Soprano; Robin Blaze, Countertenor; Makoto Sakurada, Tenor; Stephan MacLeod, Bass;
Bach Collegium Japan; Masaaki Suzuki, Director.

Vol. 20, Nos. 44, 59, 173 & 184 (5183233):
Cantatas: No. 44, Sie werden euch in den Bann tun, BWV44; No. 59, Wer mich liebet, der wird mein Wort halten, (I) BWV59; No. 173, Erhohtes Fleisch und Blut, BWV173; No. 184, Erwunschtes Freudenlicht, BWV184.
Yukari Nonoshita, Soprano; Mutsumi Hatano, Alto; Gerd Turk, Tenor; Peter Kooij, Bass; Bach Collegium Japan; Masaaki Suzuki, Director.

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (March 28, 2006):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
< I see that Musical Heritage Society has a special offer currently, putting 7 volumes of Suzuki's series into a box for $69.98 USD: >
How times do and don't change.
MHS was where I got my Werner Cantatas about 100 years ago.

I believe that they have a slogan these days to the effect of "It's not your father's MHS".

There is one difference today: there are so many bargain boxes and there's Berkshire for us Yanks.

I notice that there are very cheap boxes of both the Enoch zu Guttenberg and the Richter 4 Major choraworks available.

There is no end of where one can spend JUST ONE'S BACH GELD. And I would reckon that all of us collect outside of Bach.

Yoel (hoping that all our upsilons and kappas have settled in and that we have now a Kappa Upsilon (from Ky-rie) fraternity.

Bradley Lehman wrote (March 28, 2006):
<< I see that Musical Heritage Society has a special offer currently, putting 7 volumes of Suzuki's series into a box for $69.98 USD: >>
< How times do and don't change.
MHS was where I got my Werner Cantatas about 100 years ago.
I believe that they have a slogan these days to the effect of "It's not your father's MHS". >

Yup, something like that. They don't even bother to swap all the cover art down to black-and-white redesigns anymore, either, but they simply stick their own logo into fairly inconspicuous corners. And sometimes wash out some of the cover art's color, looking like black-market offprints.

Cover art aside, MHS licensed recordings continue to sound as good as the originals.... They don't do as much with exclusive releases anymore, unfortunately: and there goes a formerly good place to snag some really obscure repertoire.

When I joined MHS the first time around, mid-1980s, IIRC they were already saying something about "not your father's MHS". :) I think the first order I placed was for Andrew Parrott's then-new recording of cantatas 82 and 202, and likewise his recording of Dido & Aeneas.

The bulk of my hundreds of MHS LPs are still a bunch of cast-offs from people's garage sales, and radio station dumps when the formats moved to CD. Yeah, some of those Werners, too.

 

Suzuki at MHS

Bradley Lehman wrote (March 28, 2006):
< Anyway, it's been my experience that Suzuki CDs don't show up used in large numbers. That may be because they've been given a pretty limited run and those that like them don't want to sell them. (...) Anyway, that means that Suzuki is likely going for $15 per disc: >
Some of the Suzuki series are also available from Musical Heritage Society: https://www.musicalheritage.com

Currently they have volumes 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 12, 18, 19, 20, 22, and a special box of "The Passions".

Usually they are $20 per disc there, but some of them are marked down to $13 on sale.

 

Suzuki volume 34

Peter Bright wrote (January 28, 2007):
I received my copy of volume 34 of Suzuki's series yesterday - it includes cantatas BWV 1, BWV 126 and BWV 127. The latter two are up for discussion in March, so I will send some thoughts then. But at first listen, it sounds wonderful. BWV 1, in particular, is set to be one of my favourites on the basis of this performance.

The disc features Carolyn Sampson, Robin Blaze, Gerd Turk and Peter Kooij...

 

Bach Collegium Japan

John Miller wrote (March 3, 2007):
New here, and this is my first post.

I'm no expert on Bach's cantatas, just an avid listener. I have been looking for a "complete" set that's worth investing the $500 plus it's going to cost me, and so far I've not found one interpretation that I'm completely happy with... until recently. So far I have colected about 40 cantatas by Koopman, Rifkin, Harnoncourt, and Rilling, but as I said, nothing about them was compelling me to complete the collections. Rifkin's was perhaps the closest. Perhaps I'm a neanderthal but I'm not a fan of Michael Chance. Harnoncourt's boy trebles are charming, and seem perhaps the most sincere and perhaps in a live performanceI would enjoy them, but in a recording I think the intonation would eventually drive me nuts - trebles do tend to err on the sharp.

I recently discovered the Naxos online service, (for less than $20 a year I can stream as much music as I like,) and discovered the BCJ, led by Suzuki and I am hooked. They're not as polished as say the Rifkin, but there's a deeper sense of spirituality which reaches me from his readings. So far I have purchased vols 1, 2, and 25 (which has my favorite, BWV 78.) and as funds permit, I intend to purchase all of them - hopefully he will complete the set eventually.

Does anyone have any comments on the Suzuki interpretations, or perhaps other suggestions for a complete set.

Thanks

Ed Myskowski wrote (March 3, 2007):
John Miller wrote:
< New here, and this is my first post.
I'm no expert on Bach's cantatas, just an avid listener. I have been looking for a "complete" set that's worth investing the $500 plus it's going to cost me, and so far I've not found one interpretation that I'm completely happy with... until recently. So far I have colected about 40 cantatas by Koopman, Rifkin, Harnoncourt, and Rilling, but as I said, nothing about them was compelling me to complete the collections. Rifkin's was perhaps the closest. [...]
I recently discovered the Naxos online service, (for less than $20 a year I can stream as much music as I like,) and discovered the BCJ, led by Suzuki [...]
Does anyone have any comments on the Suzuki interpretations, or perhaps other suggestions for a complete set. >
You can find many discussions in the BCW archives detailing praise for Suzuki, his performances are almost always among the most highly rated. To my taste, occasionally tempos are a bit too quick. The recording acoustic is very resonant, but consistent, so if you already like it that is not a problem. I would buy any performance with Robin Blaze, countertenor, or Marcel Ponseele, oboe, on that basis alone.

I am not familiar with the Naxos service, and so am not sure I understand the other question. Don't you already have effective access to a complete cantata collection that way? If not, why not buy the Leusink set as part of the Brilliant Classics Beach Edition for little more than $100? Most of us who comment find Leusink just about always acceptable, and occasionally outstanding. Hard to go wrong for the money.

You can always build a companion complete set at your leisure. Among the others you mention, I don't think Rifkin is an option for completeness, although I certainly agree with your estimate of his quality. Among the ones you don't mention, the ongoing John Eliot Gardiner releases of his 2000 Cantata Pilgrimage are worthy of consideration, and will be nearly complete if all are released. The performances by Phillippe Herreweghe and Sigiswald Kuijken are all of superb quality. Although not intended to be complete sets, Herreweghe's releases are extensive and Kuijken's are intended to be.

There are plenty of additional and alternative opinions in the BCW archives, don't let the negative comments deter you from following your instincts. If you hang around here very long, you are not likely to be satisfied without sampling (and enjoying, in almost all cases) the variety of performances available.

Eric Bergerud wrote (March 3, 2007):
John Miller wrote:
< I recently discovered the Naxos online service, (for less than $20 a year I can stream as much music as I like,) and discovered the BCJ, led by Suzuki and I am hooked. They're not as polished as say the Rifkin, but there's a deeper sense of spirituality which reaches me from his readings. So far I have purchased vols 1, 2, and 25 (which has my favorite, BWV 78.) and as funds permit, I intend to purchase all of them - hopefully he will complete the set eventually.
Does anyone have any comments on the Suzuki interpretations, or perhaps other suggestions for a complete set. >
I belong to the Naxos service too (both of them) and it's great for checking out different groups. Suzuki has a lot to recommend it. The players and singers are very polished, the engineering is top notch (the last few volumes are in SACD if you have the hardware to use it) and the interpretations are very interesting and often lead the class. There are a couple of down sides. First, you're talking a bundle if you want a complete Suzuki - there aren't very many used copies out there and new CDs go for $20 so the full collection would top $1000 easy - not counting the Passions. Second, Suzuki uses a countertenor - that's good news or bad news depending upon your ears. Personally I like variety so my first cycle was sort of a little of everything. You might think of looking around for the Brilliant Complete Bach. For the price of 4 Suzuki volumes you end up with Leusink's entire cantata cycle and a pretty decent collection of the big choral works along with everything else. And over time finish your Suzuki cycle. The best of the cantatas and all of the big choral works all deserve multiple copies in my view.

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (March 3, 2007):
John Miller wrote:
< Does anyone have any comments on the Suzuki interpretations, or perhaps other suggestions for a complete set. >
Yes, they're wonderful recordings. The sonics are incredible! There is a richness of sound in the BIS miking that I really find enjoyable. Some have noted the expense of these recordings- I have found them on sale at J and R Music World for as low as 13.99 (in fact I picked up the latest recording in the series with BWV 1 yesterday for this price).

Did anyone noticed a slight quality change (for the worse) in the recording quality of Ton Koopman's series after Warner Classics bowed out?

Thanks,

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (March 3, 2007):
[To Ed Myskowski] Actually I received your post just after it was posted last night. Some persons don't receive some mail and that is true on all these lists and Yahoo has been problematic recently. I am confused by the original poster who claimed that he might be a Neanderthal because of his tastes. Remember the current tv ad where the Neanderthal says something about "would you say that about a therapist?" and she replies, "ah, ah...", and he says "why bc. Therapists are intelligent?" Well the original poster stated that he is allergic to Michael Chance but somehow he likes these recordings with other counter-tenors.

I have only the BCJ two passions, the JP on DVD and the MP on CD. Both have Robin Blaze and neither recording as a whole (not referring just to Blaze) is one that I would want to return to.

I simply don't respond to Suzuki's Bach at all and, even if I had an SACD player, great sonics would never influence my choice of a performance of an passion, oratorio, opera or anything else. I know that when I listen to the Werner cantatas, often I am hearing something that profoundly moves me and of course I also know that a choir recorded in super-sonics would be impressive.

That would not be my major consideration although I realize that it is a prime consideration for others and that's why there are so many choices.

Vocal works are very difficult to find perfect performances of. You might prefer the conductor and not like the choir. You might like the whole approach and not like counter-tenors or boy sopranos. Same thing in opera. Finding a totally wonderful cast and a super over-all performance is not that easy. And finally everyone responds differently to any performance.

 

M. Suzuki photo on v.27 cantatas

Gabriel Cmy wrote (March 24, 2007):
I'm a new member who hasn't yet posted. Avidly collecting & listening to Japan Bach Collegium cantatas, which I love very much. Trivia Question: on the back cover of the v.27 cantatas, Maestro Suzuki is standing by a bust and under a photograph. I will probably kick myself for NOT recognizing either, but can someone help by identifying each of these? Thanks. Gabriel from DC (I am happy to receive direct e-mail to myself but don't know whether that is allowable in a yahoo group--I am clueless!)

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (March 24, 2007):
Gabriel Cmy wrote:
< Gabriel from DC (I am happy to receive direct e-mail to myself but don't know whether that is allowable in a yahoo group--I am clueless!) >
Anyone can write anyone else direct (OFF-LIST) e-mail on any yahoogroup. If a person receives individual posts, all he needs to do is to copy your address and delete in his reply from both the TO line and the Cc line the address of the group. He then pastes in your address to the To line. If a member reads on the web rather than receiving individual posts, he needs to use the drop down in the reply on the webposter. That will then give an e-mail to the original poster even though it will only show the first letter of the original poster's ISP.

However your own question is so very on-topic that this should not be a cause for direct (OFF-LIST) mail.

 

Suzuki 35

Thomas Shepherd wrote (May 25, 2007):
Vol. 35 of this stupendous (benchmark) series released in April: http://www.bis.se/index.php?op=album&aID=BIS-SACD-1571

orders being taken now in the UK + p&p =£12: http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product/BISSACD1571.htm

 

Suzuki BWV 147 vid clip on youtube

Jeremy Vosburgh wrote (July 24, 2007):
Hazah!

I was perusing the web during my coffee break and noticed that the opening chorus to BWV 147 led by Suzuki and his Bach Collegium Japan group was on youtube. For those of you who follow the choir, it looks like choir regulars Urano, Tamaki Suzuki, Nonoshita, Yoshi Hida were involved in the 3vpp choir. As usual there was one Western looking fellow singing in the choir: a tenor (not Turk). Shimada was on trumpet as well. It was quite nice to see. A simple search should find it if you're interested.

 

Masaaki Suzuki

Peter Smaill wrote (August 8, 2007):
Yesterday evening Suzuki performed at the Proms in London 's Albert Hall in a stunning debut concert at this historic venue. The programme commenced with BWV 78, "Jesu, du der meine Seele; then BWV 179, "Siehe zu, dass deine Gottesfurcht", followed by Robin Blaze performing the late, fragmentary and very beautiful BWV 200, "Bekennen will ich seinen Namen". The Mass in G Major, which borrows extensively from BWV 179 , finished the ninety minute concert at 11.30 p.m.

Despite the pressure to depart home so late, the many hundreds who filled the balcony level down gave repeated ovations to Suzuki and his fine ensemble.You can hear the concert (Prom 34) on: http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms/2007/promsbroadcast/radio/

Such a large concert hall is not really a friendly environment for the intimacy of BWV 200 but Blaze, looking rather pleased with himself had good reason to be so and in the duet of BWV 78/2 with Carolyn Sampson, managed to achieve fine balance avoid the sense of triviality which the raw power of the great iovershadowing ntroductory chorus can cause to the tripping rythms of "Wir eilen".

BWV 200 was discovered I recall only last century but sets us the puzzle as to why Bach reverted away from the da capo aria to through-composed albeit with some emphatic repetition. It is perhaps part of his backward attraction to stilo antico, the family archive and the reuse of early material.

The mastery of Bach's parody adaptation of the Chorus of BWV 179 as "Kyrie Eleison" in the Mass was powerfully demonstrated.

One could wish for a smaller choir (20 voices including the soloists) in a smaller venue but Suzuki evidently took care to avoid the Victorian choral union format ; the soloists modestly slipped away when the vocal part finished, melting back into the choral arc while the ritornello played itself out.

With his mass of floppy shock-white hair Suzuki has enormous presence, looking like an Old Testament prophet and the entire ensemble attained the customary high standard of the recorded works. It is a minor pity that the programme notes talk of the B Minor Mass as "for the Catholic liturgy" when modern scholarship does not consider this so. The notes for BWV 78 go nowhere near explaining all the features at play but then it is an exceptionally complex piece. I was surprised to see Bach's Leipzig post described as "Kantor(Chorus director)". His duties were much wider than that quite apart from the additional appellation "et Director Musices" (the alternate title Director Chori Musices was used for Kuhnau so it partly correct).

"In these works Bach's commitment to the faith and organisation of the Protestant church shines through the seemingly irreconcilable spiritual forces: orthodoxy, pietism and the German Enlightenment", states Nicholas Anderson. I doubt Robin Leaver would put it like that: Bach was a Lutheran who drew on some Pietist sources, it is true; but was if anything setting texts opposing the Enlightenment as we have seen in BCW discussions. No reconciliation there!

Quibbles aside, and they are small, a stupendous achievement and the wave of enthusiasm for Suzuki was palpable.

Julian Mincham wrote (August 9, 2007):
[To Peter Smaill] Thanks to Peter for the review. I was sorry not to have been able to attend the concert but heard most of the broadcast.

I generallt agree with Peter's observations although I thought the duet from BWV 78 came over a little heavily through the speakers. This charming little movement does best with a ligjht touch. Personally I find it hard to beat Koopman on this one--the little organ (which I know Neil is not very fond of) seems to come into its own on this one. What is your view on that Neil?

Neil Halliday wrote (August 9, 2007):
Masaaki Suzuki (and Koopman's 78/2)

[To Julian Mincham] I'm afraid you are correct as far as my assessment of Koopman's continuo in the BWV 78 duet is concerned - the 'rattly organ' and its timbre are not my 'cup of tea'. Also, I miss a clear pizzicato violone part that is quite distinct from the cello part; this is very well presented in some recordings. Rifkin's recording of the duet is one that is much more to my taste - listen to the BCW sample. I agree with you that Suzuki's BWV 78 duet continuo (Albert Hall concert) sounded a bit heavy - bassoon? In fact, the Albert Hall sound seems less refined than Suzuki's recording of the work on BIS vol. 25 - which is to be expected of such a comparison, I suppose.

BTW, the sample of Koopman's BWV 78/1 sounds beautifully expressive and flowing.

Anyway, glad you enjoy your recording of the Koopman duet so much!

Continue of this part of the discussion, see: Cantata BWV 78 - Discussions Part 4

Robin Kinross wrote (August 9, 2007):
Peter Smaill wrote:
< Yesterday evening Suzuki performed at the Proms in London 's Albert Hall in a stunning debut concert at this historic venue. >
I was there too, quite close to the stage. I wondered how it would have been if one had been up near the roof, at the back. The Albert Hall certainly isn't an obvious place to perform this music. Yet, it was great to find so many people there, of all kinds and ages; not just the gray-haired middle-class crowd that one sees in most classical/baroque concerts in the UK.

I haven't listened to many of the BCJ recordings, so can't compare. My impressions are that this was very competent and assured playing and singing. But I felt there was something missing. It's as if this is a perfect imitation, but not quite real; sometimes so perfect that it's unsettling. You want them to let go a bit, risk a bit of imperfection. Is it offensive to call this 'Japanese Bach'? Maybe no more offensive than calling English Concert Bach 'English Bach'?

So the BCJ choir sings the words, but it's somehow at a remove from the meaning of the text. You doubt that they can speak German. The soloists, especially Carolyn Sampson, were different: much more expressive. Gerd Türk (tenor soloist in this concert) actually is German. The fact that Masaaki Suzuki often uses European soloists (and only Europeans in this concert) seems to be an acknowledgement of this distance. Some UK singers can sing German as if they really can speak it too (Gilchrist, Padmore, Harvey).

The BCJ orchestra on Tuesday was bumped up with some Europeans, for reasons of filling out the Albert Hall better, and for budgetary reasons too, I suspect. Also a few of the Japanese players on Tuesday aren't regulars with the group -- they live in the Netherlands. Add in the fact that many of the core BCJ players studied in Amsterdam or The Hague, and you have a very postmodern phenomenon. A Japanese band with a Dutch fundament; or is following in the steps of a Dutch/Flemish (Leonhardt, Kuijken, Koopman) approach.

Bradley Lehman wrote (August 9, 2007):
< BWV 78, "Jesu, du der meine Seele; then BWV 179, "Siehe zu, dass deine Gottesfurcht", followed by Robin Blaze performing the late, fragmentary and very beautiful BWV 200, "Bekennen will ich seinen Namen". The Mass in G Major, which borrows extensively from BWV 179 , finished the ninety minute concert at 11.30 p.m. Despite the pressure to depart home so late, the many hundreds who filled the balcony level down gave repeated ovations to Suzuki and his fine ensemble.You can hear the concert (Prom 34) on http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms/2007/promsbroadcast/radio/ >
Thanks for mentioning this broadcast's availability. I'm about halfway through it so far on the RealPlayer's low-fi. Nicely done on the "Wir eilen" duet of BWV 78.

We watched the new 2007 video (DVD) version of the Classical Kids "Mr Bach Comes to Call". In that one the young heroine is led by Bach to go visit the Bethlehem Bach Choir, where we hear a performance of "Wir eilen" done with at least 16 women per part. It sounded pretty silly to me that way. But, the 4-year-old got up and danced, and did also with the instrumental parts of the show...and then wanted to watch the whole thing again immediately.

Peter Smaill wrote (August 10, 2007):
[To Bradley Lehman] The common theme in 2007 is that there are a number of experiments going on to bring Bach out of his sacred context- off the pedestal- and into settings where a wider audiences with more generalised spiritual and secular sensitivities can appreciate the call to humanity in Bach.

"Mr Bach Calls.." sounds delightful and recalls a now mangled cassette tape, "bippity bobbity Bach" which my (now 7 year old) enjoyed.She is however still a bit young for Daddy to read her the Pietist controversies...

Suzuki by consenting to the popularising power of the Proms, originally founded by Sir Henry Wood to make classical music accesible to a wide audience, is also widening the appeal. ( The "Prom" bit as you will know stands for promenade, since the stalls seats are removed so that a standong/promenading audience can be packed in at low prices).

Most challenging for me will be to see the rendering in operatic form of the St Matthew Passion at the swanky English opera house, Glyndebourne. In this setting the masterwork is superimposed on the image of a grieving community after a school shootout, perhaps Dunblane or Beslan and with parallels to US atrocities of this type. The reviews have ranged from "challenging" to "atrocious' on a conceptual level even though the artists such as Mark Padmore are a very high standard. I am trying to keep an open mind.

Thomas Gebhardt wrote (August 10, 2007):
Please let me, as a German musician (choir director) and Bach-lover add some remarks to this:

Robin Kinross wrote:
< ... So the BCJ choir sings the words, but it's somehow at a remove from the meaning of the text. You doubt that they can speak German. The soloists, especially Carolyn Sampson, were different: much more expressive. Gerd Türk (tenor soloist in this concert) actually is German. The fact that Masaaki Suzuki often uses European soloists (and only Europeans in this concert) seems to be an acknowledgement of this distance. Some UK singers can sing German as if they really can speak it too (Gilchrist, Padmore, Harvey). >
Masaaki Suzuki understands and speaks German very well, I would say he's excellent! I don't know about his choir if everybody of them understands German really, but I'm very sure that they know exactly what they're singing. And even if maybe some (or even many) of them don't actually speak German, their pronunciation is stunning! It's much better than I'm used to hear from many (renowned) German choirs. And, furthermore - and I think more important is that Suzuki really BELIEVES the words which he is performing. He is a religious man and is educated and grown up in a quite comparable faith (confession) to Bach's own. I would guess that a Protestant Christian from Japan is closer to Bach's understanding of his music than a German atheist (and even than a Catholic as I am). I cannot feel anything distant in Suzuki's renderings of Bach's Cantatas. I love his performance and I think he's in general more successful than the Dutch Koopman (his teacher).

I'd say forget about Europeans being closer to it. We've gone far away from understanding Bach's music "by our culture".

Julian Mincham wrote (August 10, 2007):
Thomas Gebhardt wrote:
< I cannot feel anything distant in Suzuki's renderings of Bach's Cantatas. I love his performance and I think he's in general more successful than the Dutch Koopman (his teacher). >
Interesting. I heard or read somewhere that Suzuki both learnt German and changed his faith principally for the purpose of gaining a greater insight into and understanding of the Bach cantata repertoire. I don't know whether this is entirely accurate or not. Koopman is interesting in that he is, I think, unique in recording virtually the entire Bach repertoire (vocal, harpsichord and organ etc) which gives him a contextual insight into the music.

Re Koopman and Suzuki I think they rather compliment each other--there are movements of each that I prefer to the other. I would add two more contemporay names to a list which, for me, rather covers contemporary practice of Bach cantata recordings John Elliot Gardener and Pieter Jan Leusink. Put these four together and one is almost bound to be able to extract a performance of each cantata congenial to individual taste.

In fact I was surprised at how many of Leusink's performances I really came to enjoy, although I find that some of his openings of big movements are a bit shaky both rhythmically and in terms of clarity of texture.

Jean Laaninen wrote (August 10, 2007):
[To Peter Smaill] I am so glad to hear that you, Doug and Brad are giving your children this Bach heritage. Good for you!

Jean Laaninen wrote (August 10, 2007):
[To Thomas Gebhardt] Thanks, Thomas, for this review. Living in the US I had always imagined that many churches in Germany would still be using the cantatas and that the culture would still be supporting Bach's work in a sound manner. Perhaps we hear more Bach even in Arizona than you do in Germany.

Harry W. Crosby wrote (August 11, 2007):
Thomas Gebhardt wrote:
< I cannot feel anything distant in Suzuki's renderings of Bach's Cantatas. I love his performance and I think he's in general more successful than the Dutch Koopman (his teacher). >
Thomas, all I can add to this string of comments are the conclusions of a simple listener. I have a large collection of Bach cantata disks and I listen to them regularly and frequently --- as my wife would resignedly verify. Among my favorite performances of those roughly 190 cantatas, Suzuki is my favorite almost twenty times --- and Koopman none.

I realize that mine may be considered a somewhat idiosyncratic view, but I was struck by how closely it parallels the second of your sentences quoted above --- and, I must add, how closely your entire opinion coincides with mine in this matter.

Robin Kinross wrote (August 11, 2007):
[To Thomas Gebhardt] Thanks for your valuable comments.

< And even if maybe some (or even many) of them don't actually speak German, their pronunciation is stunning! It's much better than I'm used to hear from many (renowned) German choirs. >
I was struggling to suggest that maybe the BCJ choir players and singers do it too well, too perfectly. I find this a bit unsettling. Evidently this is a question of taste; also a question of preferring smaller forces. What moves me is a heartfelt, risk-taking approach that comes from players/singers who are absolutely secure within the idiom, because it's their mother tongue (I mean instrumental playing too). Sometimes it will go slightly wrong, but the spirit is there. (Of course, a mother-tongue performer is no gurantee of success.) I remember the revelation of hearing Italian groups playing/singing Monteverdi, having got used to polite and correct UK performances.

Obviously, a debut concert in the vast and forbidding Albert Hall is not the occasion to take risks.

< I'd say forget about Europeans being closer to it. We've gone far away from understanding Bach's music "by our culture". >
Right. The culture has become very dispersed --

Ed Myskowski wrote (August 12, 2007):
Robin Kinross wrote:
< What moves me is a heartfelt, risk-taking approach that comes from players/singers who are absolutely secure within the idiom, because it's their mother tongue (I mean instrumental playing too). >
Sorry to intrude rudely, but there are no singers/players for whom 18th C. Leipzig is the 'mother tongue'.

By analogy, on my block (Salem, MA USA), only a few years before the 18th C, we were hanging witches. The historical echoes are a micro-industry here, but with no relation to the original, other than the coincidence of
geography.

Accurate research is the only way to recover history. Moving along fine in Bach studies, including right here on BCML.

Thomas Gebhardt wrote:
<< I'd say forget about Europeans being closer to it. We've gone far away from understanding Bach's music "by our culture". >>
RC: < Right. The culture has become very dispersed >
To my point, above. Dispersed is putting it mildly. Dispersed in time, as well as space.

Ed Myskowski wrote (August 12, 2007):
Thomas Gebhardt wrote:
<< I cannot feel anything distant in Suzuki's renderings of Bach's Cantatas. I love his performance and I think he's in general more successful than the Dutch Koopman (his teacher). >>
In fairness to both, Suzuki is only ten years younger than Koopman, and studied harpsichord, but not necessarily cantata performance, with him, as an adult. Not exactly a traditional teacher/student relation.. Corrections and/or additions welcome.

Harry W. Crosby wrote:
< I have a large collection of Bach cantata disks and I listen to them regularly and frequently --- as my wife would resignedly verify. Among my favorite performances of those roughly 190 cantatas, Suzuki is my favorite almost twenty times --- and Koopman none. >
In general, I agree. In the instances where I have a direct comparison, I have preferred Suzuki to Koopman as an overall performance, and Suzuki is often my favorite among all choices available to me.

For the time being, I stand by my recent opinion of Koopman's performance of BWV 164, a personal favorite. Not yet released by Suzuki, or Gardiner.

There are interesting thoughts in the BCW archives, that Koopman's performance practices improved as the recording series proceeded. This matches my impression of Vol. 18., compared to earlier releases.

In any event, we are blessed with a wealth of material to enjoy and compare, as Suzuki, Gardiner, and Kuijken continue their releases in coming years. And as the traditional recordings by Richter and others often remain unsurpassed, and always enjoyable.

 

Continue to Part 5

Masaaki Suzuki: Short Biography | Bach Collegoim Japan
Recordings of Vocal Works:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Recordings of Instrumental Works
General Discussions:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5
Cantatas:
Suzuki - Vol. 2 | Suzuki - Vol. 5 | Suzuki - Vol. 8 | Suzuki - Vol. 9 | Suzuki - Vol. 10 | Suzuki - Vol. 11 | Suzuki - Vol. 12 | Suzuki - Vol. 13 | Suzuki - Vol. 14 | Suzuki - Vol. 15 | Suzuki - Vol. 16 | Suzuki - Vol. 17 | Suzuki - Vol. 18 | Suzuki - Vol. 19 | Suzuki - Vol. 20 | Suzuki - Vol. 21 | Suzuki - Vol. 22 | Suzuki - Vol. 23 | Suzuki - Vol. 24 | Suzuki - Vol. 25 | Suzuki - Vol. 26 | Suzuki - Vol.. 27 | Suzuki - Vol. 28 | Suzuki - Vol. 29 | Suzuki - Vol. 30 | Suzuki - Vol. 31 | Suzuki - Vol. 38 | Suzuki Secular - Vol. 1
Other Vocal Works:
BWV 232 - M. Suzuki | BWV 243 - M. Suzuki | BWV 244 - M. Suzuki | BWV 245 - M. Suzuki | BWV 248 - M. Suzuki
Reviews of Instrumental Recordings:
Bachís Clavier-Ubung III from Masaaki Suzuki | Bach Harpsichord Discs from Hill and Suzuki | Bachís French Suites from Suzuki | Review: Partitas by Suzuki [McElhearn] | Suzukiís Partitas [Henderson] | Suzukiís Goldberg Variations
Discussions of Instrumental Recordings:
Partitas BWV 825-830 - played by M. Suzuki
Table of recordings by BWV Number

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