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GRAMOPHONE ( 06/ 2019)
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MDG 9022104

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Reviewer: David Vickers

Andreas Fischer, the Kantor of the Catharinenkirche in Hamburg (where the teenage Bach heard Reinken play the organ), also selects suitable parody models for his own reconstruction. The booklet offers no transparency about his decisions, which are often significantly different from Grychtolik/Savall; those seeking scholarly satisfaction are directed to read the preface to his edition published by Ortus (2016). The Cantorey St Catharinen, a well-drilled group of about 30 adult singers, convey solemn catharsis in the opening chorus, interweaving deftly with the instrumentalists of Bell’arte Salzburg. Matthias Bleidorn is a serene Evangelist, although he struggles in his arias. Richard Logiewa’s Christus balances authority and compassion. Katherina Müller’s ardent ‘Er kommt, er ist vorhanden’ benefits from subtly articulate strings. Jan Börner’s gentle ‘Mein Heiland, dich vergess ich nicht’ is sweetly poetic (the concertante violas da gamba played with hushed sensitivity); the polyphonic five-part strings and vocal melody in ‘Falsche Welt’ are judged with mellifluous sympathy. Fischer’s choices of slow pathos for ‘Ich lasse dich, mein Jesus, nicht’ (Manfred Bittner’s bass voice in consoling dialogue with an oboe da caccia, supported by viols) and a solemn contrapuntal tenor aria with a pair of oboes d’amore for ‘Angenehmes Mordgeschrei!’ are persuasive solutions for their contexts. The absence of an English translation of the libretto is another regrettable deficiency but Fischer’s performance speaks eloquently for itself.

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