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ClassicsOnline Home » BACH, J.S.: Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut, BWV 199 / Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 (Hunt Lieberson, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra)
Moving performance serves as a tribute to the late soprano
Lorraine Hunt Lieberson passed away from cancer in 2006. She was, by all accounts, an incredibly gifted artist with a clear, beautiful and unmannered timbre and whose every performance contained great emotion and a sense of personal connection to the music. Lorraine was also one of America's great singers; a home grown performer who specialized in art songs and who was equally comfortable with the music of the Baroque as she was with contemporary music (her husband was composer Peter Lieberson). It is also said that she was a perfectionist and if she noticed anything at all in an orchestra's rehearsal performance or that of her own it would truly rattle her and she would carry one but with an introspection; so deep was her need to do well.
This recording of the Bach cantata "Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut" (My heart swims in blood) is easily one of the most beautiful I have heard. Bach's text is taken in large part from the letters of Paul and the mood covers a whole range from near despair at the inevitable to the elation of feeling forgiven; redeemed. Just knowing that this would be one of Lieberson's very last recordings and performance makes the listening incredibly poignant.
The LA Chamber Orchestra, under Jeffrey Kahane, is one of the nation's treasures; one of the greatest chamber orchestras we have and the very important oboe obligato is performed with beauty and dignity by Allan Vogel. This work is a reason to buy this disc and experience the rare gift of Lorraine Hunt Lieberson.
According to the booklet notes, Bach's original key for the cantata is C-minor but was later transposed to D-minor. Additionally, the Weimar ensemble of 1714 played to a low A of 412 vps or so. Kahane and Lieberson choose to perform the cantata in contemporary intonation but transposed to B-minor (so that the resultant sound is pretty close to the original "flat" C-minor and there is a weight to the performance).
The "bonus" in the wonderful disc is the Brandenberg #4, (in the "Italian style" of fast-slow-fast) performed joyously and with great authenticity. Special kudos to Bob Attiyeh and to Yarlung Records for another superbly engineered recording.more....
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BACH, J.S.: Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut, BWV 199 /...