DEFINITIVE RECORDINGS
Johann Sebastian Bach - Motets - Masaaki Suzuki


JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH - MOTETS - Masaaki Suzuki (Conductor) - Bach Collegium Japan - Hybrid SACD - BIS SACD1841

Well, when you have most of Bach's Cantatas under your belt you can say you know what you are doing. This disc is a bit more like see if you can do dat! The choir is awesome. Tight, moving, it keeps your interest going in every piece. I enjoy the subdued continuo that Mr. Suzuki uses to underpin the works. Some disks feature a choir without accompaniment. But I find this disk most satisfying with the choir accompanied by instrumental Basso continuo. The tempos are always fitting to the music, not driven or lagging. Masaaki Suzuki is in a very small group of master conductors of Bach's vocal works. I find him as engaging as Paul Mcreesh and much more lively and exciting than Gardiner or Koopman. We are now moving away from rediscovering Bach vocal works to a more mature re-creation of them.

Of all the versions of these works I have listened to and the ones I have in my library, this is by far the reference. The recorded sound is very lifelike. You feel as if you are near front row or maybe a few back. The choir pulls off textures and discipline in tempo and articulation as well as refined dynamics that just have to be heard to believe. As far as choir CDs go this one is among the top I will turn to from now on. Three thumbs up. I borrowed one from Jean the editor.

Mark Kravchenko