Bach: Cantatas: ‘Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!’, BWV 208; ‘Mer hahn en neue Oberkeet’, BWV 212

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COMPOSERS: Bach
LABELS: Teldec
WORKS: Cantatas: ‘Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!’, BWV 208; ‘Mer hahn en neue Oberkeet’, BWV 212
PERFORMER: Angela Maria Blasi, Yvonne Kenny (soprano), Kurt Equiluz (tenor), Robert Holl (bass); Arnold Schoenberg Choir, Concentus Musicus Wien/Nikolaus Harnoncourt
CATALOGUE NO: 4509-97501-2 DDD (1990)
Both the ‘Hunting’ and ‘Peasant’ cantatas have understandably found favour among 20th-century audiences for their charming librettos but, above all, for their endlessly diverting and unfailingly inspired music. Nikolaus Harnoncourt, in characteristic fashion, has injected the performances with a lively, if occasionally mannered feeling for drama. Surprisingly perhaps, that purplest of all purple passages, ‘Sheep may safely graze’, sung by Pales, goddess of the crops, is taken at one of the slowest tempi I can ever remember having heard. But it works well, thanks to the effectively sustained singing of soprano Angela Maria Blasi, as does much else in this stimulating and well-recorded reissue. Nicholas Anderson

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