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Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

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Bach, J S: Christmas Oratorio, BWV248

Bach, J S: Christmas Oratorio, BWV248

Live-Recording: 2010, Munich, Herkulessaal der Residenz


Rachel Harnisch (soprano), Anke Vondung (mezzosoprano), Maximilian Schmitt (tenor) & Christian Immler (bass)

Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks & Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Peter Dijkstra

The live recording of the “magical” performance of the Christmas Oratorio with the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks and the multiple award winning Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin under the direction of Peter Dijkstra.

The especially colorful light design in the Herkulessaal of the Munich Residence makes this concert from December 2010 to a very special experience.

Christmas Highlight.

Elaborate lighting design for the individual cantatas.

Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks with an outstanding interpretation.

2.0 PCM Stereo

5.0 DTS Surround

Total Time: 157min

DVD-Booklet: German, English including the libretto in German

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

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BR Klassik - 900502

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

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Bach, J S: Christmas Oratorio, BWV248

Bach, J S: Christmas Oratorio, BWV248

Live-Recording, Munich, Herkulessaal, 11./12.12.2010


Rachel Harnisch (soprano), Anke Vondung (mezzo soprano), Maximilian Schmitt (tenor / Evangelist), Christian Immler (bass), Max Hanft (organ), Sonja Philippin (soprano (echo aria))

Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks & Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Peter Dijkstra

For many, Christmas without Bach's "Christmas Oratorio" – that baroque masterpiece made up of six cantatas, telling the story of Christmas from the Nativity to the visit of the Three Wise Men – would be quite unthinkable. Whether experienced live in concert or heard on a CD, the work is always a great treat. What makes this December 2010 live recording of the concert performance at the Herkulessaal in the Munich Residenz so special? The clear voices of the young but excellent vocal soloists, the regularly acclaimed "crystal clear sound" and "astonishing three-dimensionality" of the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, under the direction of Peter Dijkstra, and of course that renowned period instrument ensemble, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin. There is also the exciting atmosphere of a live concert event that delighted the audience, plus the fact that the performance even managed to elicit the adjective "magical" from Munich reviewers – rare praise, but in this case highly deserved!

BR Klassik - up to 25% off

BR Klassik - 900512

(CD - 2 discs)

Normally: $25.75

Special: $19.31

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Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

Bach, J S: Mass in B minor, BWV232

Bach, J S: Mass in B minor, BWV232

Live recording, Munich, Herkulessaal, 22.04.2016


Christina Landshamer (soprano), Anke Vondung (mezzo-soprano), Maximilian Schmitt (tenor) & Andreas Wolf (bass-baritone)

Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks & Concerto Köln, Peter Dijkstra

For Bach, the Mass in B minor marked the culmination and also the end point of his life’s work as a composer. This "great Catholic Mass," the only mass he composed, and in which he set to music the complete Ordinary of the Latin Mass, was his last great vocal work. The Mass, completed in 1748/49, is a musical masterpiece in which the Baroque musical splendour is always to the fore, though reflective moments and intense, heartfelt chorales are also very important elements. The Latin Ordinarium constitutes the silk thread along which all these musical pearls are strung.

Even after almost three hundred years, the music of Bach's Mass in B minor is still animated, fresh, and a true Baroque delight – whether heard live in concert or recorded. What makes this concert version of June 2016 at the "ION - Nuremberg International Organ Week" in Nuremberg’s St. Lorenz Church so special that it should definitely be added to any DVD collection? The fresh voices of the young but excellent vocal soloists: the regularly praised "astonishing three-dimensionality" and "crystalline clarity" of the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks under the direction of Peter Dijkstra and of course of the renowned period instrument ensemble Concerto Köln; and last but not least, the exciting live atmosphere of a concert event that delighted the audiences, and even managed to coax the word “magical” from music critics – rare praise, but in this case, richly deserved! The DVD recording of Bach's Mass in B Minor has now been reissued by BR-KLASSIK.

DVD Video

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BR Klassik - 900516

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Bach, J S: Mass in B minor, BWV232

Bach, J S: Mass in B minor, BWV232

Live recording, Munich, Herkulessaal, 22.04.2016


Christina Landshamer (soprano), Anke Vondung (mezzo-soprano), Kenneth Tarver (tenor) & Andreas Wolf (bass-baritone)

Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks & Concerto Köln, Peter Dijkstra

For Bach, the Mass in B minor marked the culmination and also the end point of his life’s work as a composer. This "great Catholic Mass," the only mass he composed, and in which he set to music the complete Ordinary of the Latin Mass, was his last great vocal work. The Mass, completed in 1748/49, is a musical masterpiece in which the Baroque musical splendour is always to the fore, though reflective moments and intense, heartfelt chorales are also very important elements. The Latin Ordinarium constitutes the silk thread along which all these musical pearls are strung.

Even after almost three hundred years, the music of Bach's Mass in B minor is still animated, fresh, and a true Baroque delight – whether heard live in concert or recorded. What makes this concert version of June 2016 at the "ION - Nuremberg International Organ Week" in Nuremberg’s St. Lorenz Church so special that it should definitely be added to any DVD collection? The fresh voices of the young but excellent vocal soloists: the regularly praised "astonishing three-dimensionality" and "crystalline clarity" of the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks under the direction of Peter Dijkstra and of course of the renowned period instrument ensemble Concerto Köln; and last but not least, the exciting live atmosphere of a concert event that delighted the audiences, and even managed to coax the word “magical” from music critics – rare praise, but in this case, richly deserved! The DVD recording of Bach's Mass in B Minor has now been reissued by BR-KLASSIK.

“This is a classy, large-scale Bach, a live recording with real depth and passion. The choral singing and orchestral playing both possess tremendous heft and shape – the Gloria, in particular, is a thrilling experience – while the soloists are uniformly excellent. One for the library.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2017 *****

“Dijkstra conducts an achingly beautiful live performance.” MusicWeb International, 21st February 2017

“an atmospheric account. Glorious solos by soprano Christina Landshamer, mezzo-soprano Anke Vondung and tenor Kenneth Tarver…a magical release” Northern Echo, 16th March 2017

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BR Klassik - 900910

(CD - 3 discs)

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Bach, J S: St John Passion, BWV245

Bach, J S: St John Passion, BWV245

Live-Recording, Munich, Herkulessaal, 4. – 7.03.2015


With an introduction to the work from Markus Vanhoefer (CD 3)


Julian Prégardien (Evangelist), Tareq Nazmi (Christ), Krešimir Stražanac (bass-baritone/Pilate)

Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks & Concerto Köln, Peter Dijkstra

The music of Bach's 'St. John Passion', which the composer wrote for Holy Week in 1724 immediately after his appointment as cantor of St Thomas's Church in Leipzig, still retains all its freshness and vitality nearly 300 years later, and is a true Baroque delight. The two main choruses Herr, unser Herrscher and Ruht wohl, ihr heiligen Gebeine form the beginning and culmination of a large-scale orchestral and vocal structure in which Bach reveals his absolute mastery of polyphony. Inwardly reflective chorales are as much interwoven into the events of the Passion as the haunting arias which comment on the biblical texts of the Gospel of St John. Throughout this solemn Passion oratorio, there is a constant emphasis on Baroque musical magnificence. What makes this live recording of the concert version of March 7, 2015 in the Herkulessaal of the Munich Residenz so special? The fresh voices of the young and excellent vocal soloists, the regularly praised "astonishing three-dimensionality" and "crystalline clarity" of the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks under the direction of Peter Dijkstra and, of course, the renowned period instrument ensemble Concerto Köln.

“The Bavarian Radio Choir is a tightly-disciplined outfit, urgent and dramatically engaged in the crowd scenes, and Dijkstra…is well served throughout by the ever-attentive expertise of Concerto Köln. Among the soloists Tareq Nazmi's Jesus is a quietly noble presence…while best of all is Christina Landshamer's 'Ich folge dir gleichfalls': effortless, light as a feather and radiating exquisite joy” BBC Music Magazine, May 2016 ****

“[From the outset] the driving bass-lines, turbulently swirling strings, wailing oboes and crisp harpsichord continuo of Concerto Köln establish this as an emotionally engaging performance. The Bavarian Radio Chorus’s disciplined precision in vigorous fugues and vividly characterised turba choruses will appeal to those who like some old-fashioned gutsiness and broad sonorities” Gramophone Magazine, May 2016

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BR Klassik - 900909

(CD - 3 discs)

Normally: $25.75

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Bach, J S: St John Passion, BWV245

Bach, J S: St John Passion, BWV245

Live recording, Nuremberg, St. Lorenz Church, “ION – Nuremberg International Organ Week” in March 2015


Maximilian Schmitt (Evangelist), Tareq Nazmi (Christ), Christina Landshamer (soprano), Anke Vondung (mezzo-soprano), Tilman Lichdi (tenor), Krešimir Stražanac (bass-baritone / Pilate), Simona Brüninghaus (Maid), Andreas Burkhart (Petrus) & Moon Yung Oh / Andreas Hirtreiter (Servant)

Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks & Concerto Köln, Peter Dijkstra

The music of Bach's 'St. John Passion', which the composer wrote for Holy Week in 1724 immediately after his appointment as cantor of St Thomas's Church in Leipzig, still retains all its freshness and vitality nearly 300 years later, and is a true Baroque delight. The two main choruses Herr, unser Herrscher and Ruht wohl, ihr heiligen Gebeine form the beginning and culmination of a large-scale orchestral and vocal structure in which Bach reveals his absolute mastery of polyphony. Inwardly reflective chorales are as much interwoven into the events of the Passion as the haunting arias which comment on the biblical texts of the Gospel of St John. Throughout this solemn Passion oratorio, there is a constant emphasis on Baroque musical magnificence.

What makes this live recording of the concert version of March 2015 so special? The fresh voices of the young and excellent vocal soloists, the regularly praised "astonishing three-dimensionality" and "crystalline clarity" of the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks under the direction of Peter Dijkstra and, of course, the renowned period instrument ensemble Concerto Köln.

This recording of Bach's 'St John Passion' has now been released on DVD, at a concert during the “ION – Nuremberg International Organ Week” in Nuremberg’s St. Lorenz Church, and enhanced by the film “Stories of Hope – Music that Touches the Soul” by Melitta Müller-Hansen.

Booklet: in German / in English

Libretto: in German

Total time: 144 min

“Schmitt’s Evangelist is a knowing, centred and sage creation, sung with a conviction underlined by emotional subtlety and ringing clarity of diction. A touch understated for some, perhaps, Tareq Nazmi’s Jesus is nonetheless a persuasive amalgam of nobility and humility. Supporting voices provide strength in depth with the Bavarian Radio Chorus, clearly on top form at the moment, providing a richly rewarding and often sublime accompaniment.” Choir & Organ, June 2017 ****

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

BR Klassik - up to 25% off

BR Klassik - 900515

(DVD Video)

Normally: $23.75

Special: $19.00

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Bach, J S: St Matthew Passion, BWV244

Bach, J S: St Matthew Passion, BWV244

Live-Recording, Munich, Herkulessaal der Residenz, 16./17.02.2013


To follow the Christmas Oratorio, the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks under its artistic director Peter Dijkstra again present a major work by Johann Sebastian Bach, in a live recording on CD and DVD: the St. Matthew Passion. The choir's instrumental partner is the renowned period instrument group Concerto Köln, who can already be heard together with the choir on several BR-KLASSIK CDs. (Händel: Israel in Egypt, Dixit Dominus; Bach: Magnificat). Bach's epoch-making St. Matthew's Passion can be heard in historically informed performance practice with the renowned Bach singer Julian Prégardien, the Regensburger Domspatzen and further well-known soloists.

“The soloists are led by the superb Julian Pregardien...His pacing of the text is exemplary...As Jesus, Karl-Magnus Fredriksson is no victim: he is firm, forthright, with a bass-like solidity.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2014

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BR Klassik - 900508

(CD - 3 discs)

Normally: $31.00

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Bach, J S: St Matthew Passion, BWV244

Bach, J S: St Matthew Passion, BWV244

Live-Recording, Munich, Herkulessaal der Residenz, 16./17.02.2013


To follow the Christmas Oratorio, the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks under its artistic director Peter Dijkstra again present a major work by Johann Sebastian Bach, in a live recording on CD and DVD: the St. Matthew Passion. The choir's instrumental partner is the renowned period instrument group Concerto Köln, who can already be heard together with the choir on several BR-KLASSIK CDs. (Händel: Israel in Egypt, Dixit Dominus; Bach: Magnificat). Bach's epoch-making St. Matthew's Passion can be heard in historically informed performance practice with the renowned Bach singer Julian Prégardien, the Regensburger Domspatzen and further well-known soloists. The DVD edition of this live recording from Munich's Herkulessaal features highly atmospheric lighting effects.

“The soloists are led by the superb Julian Pregardien...His pacing of the text is exemplary...As Jesus, Karl-Magnus Fredriksson is no victim: he is firm, forthright, with a bass-like solidity.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2014

DVD Video

Region: 0

BR Klassik - up to 25% off

BR Klassik - 900509

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

Normally: $35.50

Special: $26.62

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Bach: Magnificat & Handel: Dixit Dominus

Bach: Magnificat & Handel: Dixit Dominus


Bach, J S:

Magnificat in D major, BWV243

Handel:

Dixit Dominus, HWV 232


Maarten Engeltjes (counter-tenor), Diana Haller (mezzo-soprano), Maximilian Schmitt (tenor), Christina Landshamer (soprano) & Konstantin Wolff (bass-baritone)

Bavarian Radio Chorus & Concerto Koln, Peter Dijkstra

The Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks joins forces with Concerto Köln to produce another superb CD.

BR Klassik - up to 25% off

BR Klassik - 900504

(CD)

Normally: $15.00

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Gloria: Highlights of sacred choral music

Gloria: Highlights of sacred choral music


Bach, J S:

Mass in B minor, BWV232: Gloria in excelsis Deo

Concerto Köln, Peter Dijkstra

Magnificat in D major, BWV243: Gloria Patri Filio

Concerto Köln, Peter Dijkstra

St Matthew Passion, BWV244: O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden

Concerto Köln, Peter Dijkstra

St John Passion, BWV245: Herr, unser Herrscher

Concerto Köln, Peter Dijkstra

Beethoven:

Missa Solemnis in D major, Op. 123: Kyrie

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Bernard Haitink

Dvorak:

Eja Mater (from Stabat Mater, Op. 58)

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Mariss Jansons

Gounod:

St Cecilia Mass: Kyrie

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Mariss Jansons

Handel:

Dixit Dominus, HWV 232: Dixit Dominus

Concerto Köln, Peter Dijkstra

Haydn:

Die Schöpfung: Die Himmel erzählen

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Bernard Haitink

Schubert:

Mass No. 2 in G major, D167 - Gloria

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Mariss Jansons

Verdi:

Dies Irae (from Requiem)

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Mariss Jansons


“Chorus”, the name for a community of singers that evolved in Europe from the Middle Ages onwards, derived from the choros of Ancient Greek theatre. The first polyphony soon arose from the initially purely monophonic Latin church music, sung since Late Antiquity and collected and standardised under Pope Gregory I as Gregorian chant. The Renaissance then brought forth complex types of polyphonic a cappella works; these reached new heights during the course of the 16th century in multiple choirs, bringing new experiences in sound through the juxtaposition - whenever space allowed - of several choirs inside churches. The choir became increasingly functional – above all in operas, cantatas and oratorios. By the Late Baroque period, the development stage had been reached that still characterises today’s concept of the choir: a fixed choral ensemble, clearly differentiated from an instrumental one (the orchestra); works of primarily spiritual content; texts in Latin but, increasingly, in national languages as well; and everything gradually becoming more representational in character. The first bourgeois choral societies of the 19th century – the forerunners of today's philharmonic choirs - were ensembles of a size that could compete as well as cooperate with symphonic orchestras. In choral singing, the content - sacred and secular, nationalist and idealist, reactionary and revolutionary – could be expressed with powerful emotion, not only in separate compositions but also in choral numbers extracted from their former, broader contexts. As the 19th century progressed, combinations of popular pieces appeared that were seldom coherent in terms of their content but still sounded highly impressive (in a musical context this is not referred to as an anthology but more usually as a Florilegium), and it is these that still determine today’s concert programmes.

The Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks can be heard here performing highlights of sacred choral music dating from the Baroque period to modern times. Even today, three hundred years later, the large oratorio choirs by Bach and Handel are as vivid, realistic and captivating as ever. Haydn succeeded in preserving this for the sacred music of the Wiener Klassik era, which reached its peak in Beethoven's Missa solemnis. The heartfelt masses composed by Schubert are typical of early German Romanticism, Gounod’s St. Cecilia Mass is the French equivalent here, and Dvořák's Stabat mater represents Bohemian Romanticism of the mid- to late 19th century. Verdi's famous Messa da Requiem testifies to the close relationship between Italian opera and Italian church music. The Mass written just before the end of World War II by the Hungarian composer Kodály is still Late Romantic in its musical language, while in his Berlin Mass, written shortly before the start of the 20th century, the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt maintains the Tintinnabuli style that informs and inspires his work.

“From Bach through Haydn and Beethoven to Verdi, the Bavarian Radio Choir, one of the best in Germany, shows great versatility in this selection of recordings marking its 70th birthday.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2017 ****

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BR Klassik - 900518

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