Tuesday, 25 March 2008

82. Johann Sebastian Bach - Magnificat (1723)


Title: Leipziger Weihnachskantaten
Performers: Collegium Vocale Gent
Director: Philippe Herreweghe
Year: 2002
Length: 30 minutes


This isn't the most common version of the Magnificat in D, but the one in E flat. and if the D version is considered the most spectacular, this version doesn't lag much behind, actually it wins something in terms of intimacy, with all the fire and fury when it is needed.

Actually this is at times a pretty violent piece. The text of the magnificat does indeed require some anger, and some revolutionary anger at that. When the Virgin Mary relates how God takes up the dispossessed and makes the rich dispossessed there is a very almost communistic anger to the whole thing. In such as way that in Guatemala during the 80's it was a forbidden text because of it's revolutionary contents.

Bach again shows what a genius he is here, there are few choruses inter-spread with soloist pieces, the soloist pieces are beautiful and the choruses are like an army of avenging angels, with the occasional tender moments. Bach captures more emotional nuances in the Magnificat than just about anyone did before him. A truly impressive choral piece that would wake up anyone at church. Essential.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Bach composed an initial version in E flat major in 1723 for the Christmas Vespers in Leipzig which contained several Christmas texts. During the years he removed the Christmas-specific texts to make it suitable for year-round performance, as well as transposing it to D major, providing better sonority for the trumpets in particular. The new version, which is the one usually performed, had its premiere at the Thomaskirche on July 2, 1733, the fourth Sunday after Trinity Sunday, which was the Feast of the Visitation at the time. The Feast was later moved to the end of May.

Fecit Potentiam... probably in D:

1 comment:

blondbearnl said...

wow, that youtube clip is great, what a superb guy, and so many talents! i am full of envy, but also with joy!