as it is sunday, there is time for some sacred music … and what is more sacred than JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH? today’s music du jour is johann sebastian’s motetten? they are short(ish) choral works and are perfect for a sunday morning!
obviously there are many different recordings of these works, but i have to admit that i like BACH lithe and light, hence i prefer period instrument recordings, a small choir and voices with little vibrato (though there are obviouly exceptions to the rule … but in general i prefer john eliot gardiner to karl richter in this repertoire. a good alternative for those who find the former too dry and the latter too plush are the recent BACH recordings by nikolaus harnoncourt – his st matthew passion with christoph pregardien, matthias goerne, bernarda fink and christine schäfer is one i return to very regularly!).
i particularly like the recording by TRINITY BAROQUE (who are headed by julian podger and the singers include elin manahan thomas, whom i like alot), as it fleshes out the motetten with some lutheran chorales and a couple of organ pieces by BACH. the vocal group consists of two sopranos, two altos, two tenors and two basses and to my ears they do blend well together but are still keeping their own voice audible – there is nothing heavy-handed about this recording and it uplifts me instantly every time i listen to it!