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Gloriæ Dei Cantores released this double CD set of sacred choral cantatas, motets, and works for organ in honor of the 250th anniversary of the death of J.S. Bach. These compositions provide a window into Bach the young musician, and to Bach the aging master. Featured works include the well-known cantata Gottes Zeit ist die Allerbeste Zeit (God's time is best) and the bass solo cantata, Der Friede Sei Mit Dir (Peace Be with You). Like the choral works, the organ works featured on this recording exemplify Bach's entire creative outpouring.
"...this is a mixed bag of demanding music by Bach to mark the 250th anniversary of his death....a disciplined group, clearly well-drilled...The standard of both playing and choral singing on this double album is mostly creditable....the singing of the delightful duet Wir eilen for soprano and alto accompanied by cello and harpsichord, in which both soloists here convey its sense of joyful eagerness with a delectable blend of tone. The performance by the choir of Jesu, meine Freude is stylishly phrased and the German diction articulated with impeccable clarity,...this choir,...takes its own corporate name to heart and sings it all 'to the glory of God.' The playing, in today's authentic style, of the string and woodwind instrumentalists accompanying them is highly satisfying; the solos by leader, principal flute and oboe confidently assured."
Christopher Fifield musicweb-international.com April 2003
...the discs contain over two hours of enjoyable listening....What Bach enthusiasts should appreciate most about this recording is the variety of compositions, including cantatas, motets, and organ works....The chorus and soloists, all of whom perform admirably, are elegantly accompanied by period instruments...the overall effect of the cantata (Gottes Zeit ist die Allerbeste Zeit) is quite sublime....Although the entire work (Jesu, der du meine Seele) is a joy to hear, the highlight of this seven-movement work is the second movement duet for soprano and alto. Kathy Schuman (soprano) and Estelle Cole (alto) shine in this delightful piece...The two motets on this recording are splendid....the choral ensemble displays its true talents in singing these motets. Both are performed unaccompanied, with precise diction and outstanding intonation. They sing musically and with passion. The organ works recorded on this CD are an added bonus. David Chalmers and Sharon Rose Pfeiffer are masters. They perform with precision and a rhythmic intensity demanded by Bach's writing. Overall, this collection is exceptional. The eclectic array of compositions will please any listener, especially one who fancies the diversity of the composer. Organ works, cantata with chorus and instruments, and unaccompanied motets, all performed with excitement and vigor, make for two hours of musical entertainment.Scott R. Buchanan Choral Journal November 2000
It is equally pleasing to make the acquaintance with Gloriae Dei Cantores, their vocal quality bringing a fresh approach to Bach...Intonation is right in the center of each note, and the diction is crisp and clear. Above all there is an obvious joy in their singing that rings considerable pleasure, and I particularly enjoy the vivacious account of Singet dem Herr nein neues Lied, which perfectly captures the exultation in every note. ...their(the organists) approach is well proportioned and worthy of your attention.
David Denton Fanfare July/August 2000
"...the choral sections...very well sung...director Elizabeth Patterson, succeeds in conveying a sense that these aren't just notes we're hearing, but living, meaningful words as well. Her singers are supported by very competent instrumentalists...the three organ selections...are first rate, strong, confident and musically dynamic."David Vernier Classics Today
"Gloriae Dei Cantores... sings well; ...a balanced choir....with a fine overall sound.Michael Ullman Fanfare September/October 2000
"This two-disc set...mixes wonderful examples from different genres on Bach's music. the choir is very well prepared and sings with good intonation and blend."American Record Guide Paul Althouse July/August 2000
This disc comes from the heart of a religious community...where the music of JS Bach has been studied from a theological and musical point of view over a number of years. This is evident from the great devotion present in these performances.Stephen Cleobury former director of Kings College Cambridge
This is a wonderful celebration of Bach's organ and choral music showing the full range of his styles and expressive vocabulary. It would be ideal both for the listener new to Bach's sacred music and for the seasoned connoisseur. The wonderful choir, Gloriae Dei Cantores, performs equally well in the supremely spiritual music, such as the motet Jesu, meine Freude and in the more spectacular pieces Singet dem Herrn undoubtedly Bach's most virtuoso choral piece. The solos for voice and organ are excellently performed and are testimony to one of the most remarkable performing communities commemorating the 250th anniversary of Bach's death this year.John Butt Kings College Cambridge