Dunedin Consort - Bach: Ich habe genug - All Music
Two of the Bach cantatas on this album, Ich habe genug, BWV 82, and Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit, BWV 106 ("Actus tragicus"), are among the most recorded of all Bach's works, and the middle item, Liebster Jesu, mein Verlangen, BWV 32, is not far behind. Something was necessary to make this reading by the Dunedin Consort and director John Butt stand out from the crowd, and indeed, the performances provide something. Butt's direction comes close, with clean singing and playing, to a kind of pulse running through the music beyond its basic meter, and interesting antiphonal effects from the paired instruments in the excellent acoustic of St. Jude-on-the-Hill Church in Hampstead, London (especially the recorders in the "Actus tragicus" cantata). However, what puts the recording over the top is the fabulous work of the soloists, who are extraordinary both as individuals and in a group. In the former sphere, the warmth of bass Matthew Brook is compelling right from the beginning of his solo cantata, Ich habe genug, and in the latter, the contrast and yet the perfect ensemble between Brook and soprano Joanne Lunn is something that listeners will not soon forget. Certainly one of the top recordings of these cantatas on the market, and one with an indefinable and extremely attractive intimate quality.