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  Deutsche Grammophon -
  474 505-2
  Bach: Cantatas - Thomas Quasthoff
  Bach: Cantatas "Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen" BWV 56, "Ich habe genug" BWV 82, "Der Friede sei mit dir" BWV 158

Thomas Quasthoff
Members of the RIAS-Kammerchor
Berliner Barocksolisten
Rainer Kussmaul (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Vocal
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Reviews: 3

Review by beardawgs December 22, 2004 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
After fantastic Kirchschlager’s disc with Bach arias, here comes another treat, completely different in style and mood, but equally great. Cantatas 56 and 82 are probably recorded by every single decent baritone under the Sun, and I never get tired listening to them all. I always admired Quasthoff’s intellectual qualities that bring extraordinary understanding of the texts he’s singing. Even if you don’t understand every word of his native German, you can’t miss the mood and his ability to emotionally reach where many other singers just stay bland. On top of that, Quasthoff here have to offer (unfortunately) personal understanding of the phrase that sometimes dying is preferable to living.

Unlike Fischer-Dieskau, who is all about drama and passion, Quasthoff is more subtle in expression, offering compassion and calm of the inevitable end. End of days that he’s singing about in “Ich habe genug” is the spiritual death, not the physical one – in perfect tune with the meaning of this little masterpiece. However beautiful and bursting with dark sonorities, his voice is just an instrument of expression, he’s there to offer understanding and guidance, never to draw attention to himself. Same can be said for the recitatives, where the meaning has more importance than the expression.

Quasthoff’ is perfectly matched with the modern orchestra, their playing having all necessary baroque phrasing, but with full sonorities and dark impact. Their huge sound kept me under the grip right from the opening bars. The recording (96/24) is spacious and not too analytical, which I find perfectly appropriate for the whole project. This is one of the rare discs that draws you into itself, where every element works towards the meaning, rather than superficial qualities.

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Review by Googledude July 30, 2005 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
I concur with the other reviews of this work and performance. They're first rate, though some have complained that Quasthoff - while in amazing voice - does not give as passionate a performance as other versions of this work.

I have owned two copies of this disc and found some type of problem part way through tracks 7 and 9 of the SACD layer that stops the disc cold and forces it to restart back at the beginning. The other tracks are fine. In both copies the error has happened in the same spot. My other SACD's have no problems on my Philips 963SA player. So I must assume a manufacturing defect on the part of DG with at least some copies of this otherwise excellent recording.

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Review by Oscar June 12, 2005 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
Quasthoff is a superb lieder interpreter. As a Bach interpreter he follows his high achievements in the lieder field: expressive and detailed readings. Not always vocally immaculate, he does not hesitate in altering his tone for expressive purposes. The Berlin Baroque Ensemble does not sound top notch to me, but plays the music adequattely. The oboe soloist is superb.

Good sound, highlighting Quasthoff´s voice, the undoubted star of this project.

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Works: 3  

Johann Sebastian Bach - Cantata "Der Friede sei mit dir", BWV 158
Johann Sebastian Bach - Cantata "Ich habe genung", BWV 82
Johann Sebastian Bach - Cantata "Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen", BWV 56