Friday, November 18, 2011

Bach's "Wachet auf" Cantata (Robert Shaw)

One of the best-loved Bach cantatas, that on the Nicolai chorale "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme," is presented today in a recording by that greatest of choral conductors, Robert Shaw (1916-1999).  This cantata was written for the 27th Sunday after Trinity, a Sunday that occurs infrequently, only when Easter is particularly early in the year - in fact, I don't think the next 27th Sunday after Trinity will happen until 2035.  Well, I wasn't willing to wait that long to share this recording.  Taking note of the fact that the 27th Sunday after Trinity was also, always, the last Sunday before Advent, and also of the fact that this coming Sunday is the last Sunday before Advent for 2011, I decided that this weekend would be a liturgically appropriate time to present this recording, so here it is:

Bach: Cantata No. 140, "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme"
Soloists, RCA Victor Chorale and Orchestra conducted by Robert Shaw
Recorded June 25-26, 1946
RCA Victor Red Seal set DM-1162, four 10-inch 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC file, 64.47 MB)
Link (MP3 file, 32.57 MB)

The soloists are Suzanne Freil, soprano, and Paul Matthen, bass, who sing two duets, and Roy Russell, tenor, who sings the recitatives preceding these duets.  For the first of the duets Joseph Fuchs provides a violin obbligato, and for the second, the oboe obbligato is played by Robert Bloom.