J, Johann Christoph, Jm, Jl Bach

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: J,Jl Bach,Jm,Johann Christoph
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Bach Family Motets
WORKS: Works
PERFORMER: Choir of Clare College, Cambridge/Timothy Brown; Elizabeth Kenny (theorbo), Helen Gough (bass violin), Karl Dexter (organ)
CATALOGUE NO: RRC 1045 Reissue (1995)
This is an enjoyable, discerningly chosen and mainly well sung programme. The earliest piece, by Johann Bach is also one of the most beautiful, Unser Leben ist ein Schatten. Here, the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, consisting of male and female voices, sounds fresh, disciplined and responsive to details of text and music, alike. Johann Christoph Bach is generously represented by four motets. Taken together they reveal the rich emotional range of which this gifted member of the clan was capable. A fifth motet, Ich lasse dich nicht, is much more likely to be the work of JSB. It’s a fine piece in eight-strand texture, bearing little resemblance to any of Johann Christoph’s music. Furthermore, the skilful economy with which the music is handled and its contrapuntal character seem much closer to the manner of JSB than to that of any other member of the family. Only the opening motet of the programme sounds insecure and lacklustre. Otherwise recommended. Nicholas Anderson