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Bach - Böhm: Music for Weddings and other Festivities
Clematis, Leonardo García Alarcón
Let us once more immerse ourselves in the musical life of Eisenach as it was at the end of the 1670s. One Sunday afternoon, after having played for the services in their respective churches, the cousins Johann Ambrosius Bach and Johann Christoph Bach were sitting in a Bierstube, each with a mug of beer and a meerschaum pipe. A moment of relaxation, with word games, laughter and a discussion about Johann Christoph’s coming marriage. There would naturally be music for the wedding, with a cantata for the church service at the very least. That particular Sunday morning’s cantata had been based on texts from the Song of Solomon — not Böhm’s, of course, because Böhm had only been born in 1661. The sensual and at times erotic flavour of the words amuses them and, after several beers and pipefuls of tobacco, they have an idea for a secular cantata for the festivities that will follow the wedding ceremony. Christoph will compose the music, whilst Ambrosius will put together the text and instructions for its performance. Even though we do not know how this cantata was performed, its score has survived complete with all of its the puzzles and riddles.
The sublime chaconne in which the beloved proclaims her love and in which the violin line (as demanded by Ambrosius) symbolises her dreams and desires is both sensual and strong, the image of love itself and its blend of tenderness and strength: it is indeed a love scene. The two other sections are more theatrical in character: an introduction in dialogue form that describes the clandestine meetings of the lovers and a finale that is an open invitation to the festivities and to the food and drink that will be served. But how can we convey something of the atmosphere of such festivities? It is difficult to imagine a performance that is based on the text alone. The musicians of the Clematis seize the opportunity to get into the spirit of the occasion: halfway through the wedding breakfast they get out their instruments, push the tables together and share the scores that have been placed wherever there is room — on the edge of a table, on a chair — and the party begins with Esset und trinket. The wine, however, has been flowing for some time and the tempi get slower... All of the above is of course accompanied by unceasing thanks to God for his gift of life! Johann Sebastian Bach must have heard talk of such festivities and their celebratory cantatas (the scores of which he knew) from his early childhood. It must have been very much in the same spirit that he was inspired to compose, heaven only knows for what occasion, the incredible Quodlibet that seems to be so out of place amongst all his other works. If, however we carefully examine how Bach composed his secular (and even a few sacred) cantatas, we can see that he had a great instinct for theatre and for amusement. Certain passages in his biography even reveal that he was not a man who would turn down a good glass of wine!
“this disc brings together music largely influenced by the Song of Songs, which was extremely popular amongst Catholic and Lutheran composers of the time...Mariana Flores sings her divisions with liquid authority over the sensitive organ’s warm registrations...[Meine Freundin] is a richly decorative and engaging one, revealing JC to be a forward looking composer, and one with impeccable technical control.” MusicWeb International, January 2013
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The Gustav Leonhardt Edition
Resonet in laudibus
Bach, J C:
Harpsichord Sonata, Op. 5 No. 2 in D major
Bach, J S:
Concerto for Flute, Violin & Harpsichord in A minor, BWV1044
Keyboard Concerto No. 2 in E major, BWV1053
Keyboard Concerto No. 3 in D major, BWV1054
Keyboard Concerto No. 4 in A major, BWV1055
Keyboard Concerto No. 5 in F minor, BWV1056
Concerto for Harpsichord & Two Recorders, BWV1057
Keyboard Concerto No. 7 in G minor, BWV1058
Oboe Concerto in D minor, BWV1059
Concerto for Two Keyboards in C minor, BMV1060
Concerto for Two Keyboards in C major, BMV1061
Concerto for Two Keyboards in C minor, BMV1062
Concerto for Three Keyboards in D minor, BWV1063
Concerto for Three Keyboards in C major, BWV1064
Concerto for Four Keyboards in A minor (after Vivaldi), BWV1065
Goldberg Variations, BWV988
Chromatic Fantasia & Fugue in D minor, BWV903
Keyboard Sonata in D Minor, BWV964
Toccata in G major, BWV916
Lute Suite No. 1 in E minor, BWV996
Sonatas for Violin & Harpsichord Nos. 1-6, BWV1014-1019
Prelude in F major, BWV927
Prelude in E major, BWV937
Trio in G minor, BWV929
So oft ich meine Tobackspfeife, BWV515a
Prelude in D minor, BWV940
Canon a 2 perpetuus, BWV1075
Canon super fa mi a 7 post tempus misicum, BWV1078
Prelude in D major, BWV925
Gib dich zufrieden, BWV511
Canon a 4 perpetuus, BWV1073
Canone doppio sopr'il soggetto, BWV1077
O Herzensangst, o Bangigkeit, BWV400
Nicht so traurig, nicht so sehr, BWV384
Dir, dir Jehovah, will ich singen, BWV452
Prelude in C major, BWV939
Fugue in C major, BWV952
Was betruebst du dich, mein Herze, BWV423
Vergiss mein nicht, BWV505
Chorale Prelude BWV691 'Wer nun den lieben Gott lässt walten'
Capriccio sopra la lontananza del suo fratello dilettissimo, BWV992
Prelude & Fugue in A minor, BWV895
Suite in F minor, BWV823
Prelude & Fughetta in D minor, BWV899
Prelude & 'Fiddle' Fugue in D minor, BWV539
Harmonia artificiosa-ariosa: diversi mode accordata
120.Mensa sonora: seu musica instrumentalis
Fidicinium sacro-profanum: Sonatas III, IV, V & VI
Suite No. 6 in E flat major
Suite No. 8 in F minor
Suite No. 9 in F minor
The duchesse of brunswick's toye [most sweet and fayre]
Pavan in D BK52a
Pavan in D BK52b
Fantasia a 3 in C BK27
Pavan & Galliard à 6
Amarilli mia bella
Offertoire sur les grands jeux
L'art de toucher le clavecin
Lachrimae Pavan, P. 15
Can she excuse my wrongs? (First Booke of Songes, 1597)
Fantasia in D
Fantasia in D
The Old Spagnoletta
Toccata undecima (1627)
Toccata in G major
Fantasia sesta sopra doi soggetti
Capriccio No. II
Fantasia No. 3
Toccata No. 11 (da sonarsi alla levatione)
Toccata No. 9
Suite No. 18
Suite No. 12 in C major
Cromorne en taille à deux parties
Keyboard Suite, HWV 433 in F minor
The Biblical Sonatas
Suite No. 2 a 5 in F major : fantasia
Suite No. 2 a 5 in F major : aire
Suite No. 7 in D minor : fantasia
Suite No. 7 in D minor : air 'almand'
Suite No. 7 in D minor : 'galliard'
Suite No. 3 in B-flat major : in nomine
Balletto secondo a tre & a quattro
6 Sonatas Op. 3
Sonata No. 2 from Armonico Tributo
Ricercar primi toni
Rejoice in the Lord alway ('The Bell Anthem'), Z49
Blow up the trumpet in Sion, Z10
O God, thou art my god, Z35
Chacony in G minor - for Two Violins, Viola and Bass Z730
O God, thou hast cast us out, Z36
My heart is inditing, Z30
Remember not, O Lord, our offences, Z50
Overture in D minor Z771
Pavan in B flat major, Z750
Ground in D minor, ZD222
Suite in G major, Z 770
Pavan in A minor Z749
Three Parts upon a Ground in D major - Z731
Overture in G minor Z772
Suite No. 6 in D major, Z 667
Pavan for Three Violins and Bass in G minor - Z752
Sefauchi's Farewell, Z656
A New Ground in E minor, Z. T682
4-part Sonnata No. 3 in A minor - Z804
Fantasia No. 7
Fly swift ye hours, Z369
The father brave as e'er was Dane (from Who can from joy refrain?, Z342)
Return revolting rebels (from Timon of Athens, Z632)
Nouvelles Suites de Pièces de Clavecin: La Triomphante
L'Entretien des muses
Pièces de Clavecin 1724: Les Tourbillons
Pièces de Clavecin en concerts
Choralfantasie “An Wasserflüssen Babylon”
Sonata Settima a 4
Keyboard Sonata K3 in A minor
Keyboard Sonata K52 in D minor
Keyboard Sonata K215 in E major
Keyboard Sonata K216 in E major
Praeambulum in D minor
Paduan a 4
Sacro-Profanus Concentus Musicus: Sonatas VII & IX
Pavana Chromatica (Mrs. Katherin Tregians Paven)
A sad Pavan for these distracted times
Pavan Of Three Parts
Galliard Of Three Parts
Gustav Leonhardt (harpsichord/organ/bass viol/virginal/narration/director ), Agnes Giebel (soprano), Marie Luise Gilles (alto), Bert van t’Hoff (tenor), Peter Christoph Runge (bass), James Bowman (countertenor), Nigel Rogers (tenor), Max van Egmond (bass), Lars Frydén (violin), Anner Bylsma (cello), Frans Brüggen (flute), Sigiswald Kuijken (violin), Wieland Kuijken (viola da gamba) & Veronika Hampe (alto viol)
The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, Brüggen-Consort & Leonhardt-Consort, Gustav Leonhardt
“Gustav Leonhardt's patrician demeanour and Calvinistic refusal to indulge his ego run contrary to the common trend for keyboard players to emulate performing seals. And yet he has the power to transfix an
audience, as he did throughout his Wigmore Hall recital, without the need for gratuitous showmanship or wild musical gestures. Austerity and sobriety are the names of his particular performing game, tempered by
a compelling mix of passion and commitment to the broad repertoire within his command.” Andrew Stewart, The Independent, 10th January 1996
“Among the scholar-performers who have sparked and led the early music revival, surely none has played a greater part and exerted a more benificent influence on younger musicians and the public than Gustav
Leonhardt. Harpsichordist, organist, conductor, teacher, musicologist and editor are all roles in which he has distinguished himself.” Howard Schott, The Musical Times, October 1992
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Bach Complete Cantatas Vol 1-22
Bach, J S:
Sacred Cantatas BWV1-200 (complete)
Cantata BWV201 'Geschwinde, ihr wirbelnden Winde'
Cantata BWV202 'Weichet Nur, betrübte Schatten' (Wedding Cantata)
Cantata BWV203 'Amore traditore'
Cantata BWV204 'Ich bin in mir vergnügt'
Cantata BWV205 'Zerreißet. Zersprenge, zertrümmert die Gruft'
Cantata BWV206 'Schleigt,spielende Wellen, und murmelt gelinde'
Cantata BWV207a 'Auf, schmetternde Toene'
Cantata BWV208 'Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!'
Cantata BWV209 'Non sa che sia dolore' (Italian Cantata)
Cantata BWV210 'O holder Tag, erwunschte Zeit' (Wedding Cantata)
Cantata BWV211 'Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht' (Coffee Cantata)
Cantata BWV212 'Mer hahn en neue Oberkeet' (Peasant Cantata)
Cantata BWV213 'Laßt uns sorgen. Laßt uns wachen' (Hercules auf dem Scheidewege)
Cantata BWV214 'Tönet, ihr Pauken'
Cantata BWV215 'Preise dein Glücke, gesegnetes Sachsen'
Mass in F major, BWV233
Mass in A major, BWV234
Mass in G minor, BWV235
Mass in G major, BWV236
Barbara Schlick, Caroline Stam, Ruth Holton, Els Bongers, Anne Grimm, Lisa Larsson, Sibylla Rubens, Ruth Ziesak, Dorothea Röschmann, Johannette Zomer, Sandrine Piau, Marlis Petersen, Deborah York (soprano) Elisabeth von Magnus, Kai Wessel, Andreas Scholl, Peter de Groot, Bogna Bertosz, Bernhard Landauer, Michael Chance, Annette Markert, James Gilchrist, Franziska Gottwald, Nathalie Stutzmann (alto), Christoph Prégardien, Guy de Mey, Paul Agnew, Jeremy Ovenden, Gert Türk, Jörg Dürmüller (tenor) & Klaus Mertens, Donald Bentvelsen (bass)
Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir, Ton Koopman
Between 1999 and 2006, the legendary baroque music specialist Ton Koopman brought together a stunning array of singers to record the complete cantatas of J S Bach alongside his own Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir. Released originally mostly in 3CD sets, this wonderful cycle is now being made available by Challenge Classics in its entirety. The 67 separate CDs have now been gathered together in a box with a booklet that includes a complete tracklisting and information about each recording.
Along the way these releases were acclaimed throughout the world, and received many major music prizes, including a BBC Music Magazine Award in 2006 for Volume 22 (CC72222). Featured soloists include most of the great modern day interpreters of the music of Bach’s time.
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