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Kevin Mallon & Aradia Ensemble
Christmas Cantatas
Cantatas BWV 36, BWV 61, BWV 132


J.S. Bach: Christmas Cantatas


Cantatas BWV 36 [23:06], BWV 61 [14:10], BWV 132 [18:25]

Kevin Mallon

Aradia Ensemble

Soprano: Teri Dunn; Alto: Matthew White; Tenor: John Tessier; Basses: Steven Pitkanen & Thomas Goerz

Naxos 8.554825

Jan 7-11, 2000

CD / TT: 62:17

Recorded in the Church of Mary Magdalene, Toronto, Canada.
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Naxos Christmas Cantatas

Marie Jensen wrote (October 13, 2000):
Christmas Cantatas, BWV 36, 132 and 61.
Terri Dunn (soprano), Matthew White (alto), John Tessier (tenor), Steven Pitkanen and Thomas Goerz (bass). The Aradia Ensemble from Canada is directed by Kevin Mallon (Naxos 8.554825).
The CD was produced last winter, and in a month or two it will be actual again. Yet the title "Christmas Cantatas" is misleading, because the CD contains three advent cantatas.

The ensemble is HIP. BWV 36 "Schwingt freudig euch empor" and BWV 132 "Bereitet die Wege" are performed OVPP and BWV 61 "Nun komm der Heiden Heiland" by soloists singing throughout joined by ripienists in the choruses. The instruments are OVPP too.

The instrumentalists play great, so it is indeed a pity that only one of the singers is satisfying. Countertenor Andrew White is a great surprise. He has a very pleasant voice and sings wonderfully with no accent. The other soloists can be placed on a scale from unacceptable to nearly good enough. Worst is the tenor Tessier: Lots of accent and lots of vibrato. Unfortunately he is heard often. The bass Pitkanen sings very well but again with accent. The bass Goerz is heard once, and he seems to be better. The soprano Dunn sings without accent but with too much vibrato.

A nice little instrumental suite after the organ chorales "Nun komm der Heiden Heiland" arranged by Mallon is played just before the cantata of the same name. A good idea which works fine.

So this CD has many plusses and minuses. I hope to hear more from countertenor White in the future. Wish Leusink had met him before Buwalda, what a Bach cantata cycle they could have made!


Kevin Mallon: Short Biography | Aradia Ensemble | Recordings of Vocal Works | K. Mallon - Christmas Cantatas

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