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Greg Funfgeld & Bach Choir of Bethlehem & Bach Festival Orchestra
Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works
General Discussions


Michael Grover wrote (April 2, 2001):
Has anyone heard the CD of Greg Funfgeld conducting the Bach Choir of Bethlehem and the Bach Festival Orchestra on Dorian records? It's called "Wachet auf!" and they play BWV 140, BWV 56, and BWV Anh. 159.

I don't know anything about Funfgeld and his players & singers. HIP or non-HIP? Any comparisons or reviews?

Aryeh Oron wrote (April 2, 2001):
[To Michael Grover] In the Bach Cantatas Website you can find short biographies of Greg Funfgeld and the singers in his recordings of Bach Cantatas and other vocal works. The index to the short biographies is in the following address:

A list of Bach recordings by Funfgeld & Bach Choir of Bethlehem is in the following address: Some of his recordings were reviewd in the weekly cantata discussions. There are links to those discussions from this page.

The style of Funfgeld and his forces can be called traditional (some would call it old-fashoined) with big choir and orchestra and they are, of course, non-HIP. They remind me some of Karl Richter's Bach recordings. IMHO, in the rich world of Bach Cantatas there is a room for such approach even today. So different from the current tendency to minimal forces and OVPP, and yet still very convincing in its own independent way.


Upcoming new recording

Ehud Shiloni wrote (October 11, 2001):
Saw on the Bach Choir of Bethlehem website:


CD Planned with Dorian Recordings...

The Choir's relationship with Dorian Recordings, one of the fastest- growing classical music labels in the USA, continues with a new recording of Bach Cantatas, completed in May, 2001. This will be a single CD featuring The Choir and distinguished soloists Ann Monoyios, Soprano and Daniel Taylor, Counter-tenor. The CD will include Cantata BWV 34 O ewiges Feuer, Cantata BWV 51 Jauchzet Gott and Cantata BWV 170 Vergnügte Ruh


There is no indication of the anticipated release date [my guess is it may take many months].

Bradley Lehman wrote (October 11, 2001):
[To Ehud Shiloni] Interesting. They're selling it as a "Bach Choir" record but the chorus has actually only two movements to perform, both in BWV 34. The other two cantatas are solo, and easy to find in plenty of other recordings. Ah, marketing.

Michael Grover wrote (October 11, 2001):
[To Ehud Shiloni] I will be eagerly awaiting this one. As I recently posted on the Bach Cantatas list, I thoroughly enjoyed Daniel Taylor in the American Bach Soloists' recording of BWV 78, conducted by Jeffrey Thomas. One of the most outstanding countertenors I've heard, and I was left hoping he would do more Bach. I also very much enjoy Ann Monoyios in my Gardiner SMP (BWV 244), although not as much as Barbara Bonney.


Bach Choir of Bethlehem

David Richie wrote (March 7, 2008):
I saw an assertion that a Bach Cantata (Ein Feste Burg) (BWV 80) was sung in Bethlehem PA in the very early 1800s, in the Moravian churche(s), of course. This would predate the mid 19th centery rediscovery of Bach's
vocal music.

Any evidence on this fascinating theory? In my view, the Moravians wrote (and imported) the most "advanced" music in America in their day, especially by comparison with the crude stuff created by Billings, Hopkinson, etc. But how would the Moravians have gotten a score for a Bach Cantata when none had been published? Could somebody in Bethlehem have written to somebody in Leipzig and asked for a copy to be made? Such private correspondence certainly might not have survived. Or is it far more likely the Moravians in Bethlehem just sang Luther's hymn and not the Bach cantata?


Greg Funfgeld: Short Biography | Bach Choir of Bethlehem | Recordings of Vocal Works | Bethlehem Bach Festival | General Discussions

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