Recordings/Discussions
Background Information
Performer Bios

Poet/Composer Bios

Additional Information

Conductors of Vocal Works: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | Singers & Instrumentalists

Masaaki Suzuki & Bach Collegium Japan
Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works
General Discussions - Part 1

Suzuki

Kostas Sarantidis wrote (March 19, 1998):
Terry Rodgers wrote:
< Any comment from other Suzuki samplers? I like him a lot. >
I have purchased all six available "volumes" on the BIS label, and I have been listening to them whenever possible. I am completely won over by Suzuki's approach to the cantatas and whenever I have made comparisons with Koopman's set I find Suzuki far preferable, not only in matters like tempo, sound of instruments, but also with regards to the vocal soloists: what an extraordinary group of singers, and such a clean-sounding choir! And each volume is accompanied with notes that are about the music and the texts of the cantatas, rather than the historical notes accompanying the Koopman series. All in all, a great series so far.

You have purchased volume 4, which is not even one of the strongest instalments in the series - for example, it doesn't feature Yoshikazu Mera, the extraordinary male alto in many of Suzuki's recordings. My favourite CD's so far in the Suzuki series are volumes 2 & 3.

BTW, Suzuki and company have turned in a mostly outstanding recording of Hšndel's Messiah, also on BIS.

A bargain!

Ryan Michero wrote (August 11, 1998):
Todd wrote:
< Hi Ryan - Could you then suggest 1 BCJ cantata disc for me to examine other than Vol. I? >
Right now my favorite volume is No. 5, featuring BWV 18, BWV 143, BWV 152, BWV 155, and BWV 161. These are mostly small-scale, relatively unknown works from the Weimar period, with the exception of BWV 161 for solo alto. These are all beautifully performed, and they feature my favorite soloists of the series, including Midori Suzuki and Yoshikazu Mera. Mera in particular steals the show here, giving a touching performance of BWV 161--this one brought tears to my eyes, and thatís pretty rare when Iím listening to recorded music. BWV 18 is also especially well performed. I used to own a version by the American Bach Soloists (conductor - Thomas) that didnít do much for me at all. Suzuki brings out all the drama and passion that Thomas didnít. If you have a problem with the pitch, though, I detect a bit of strain here and there, especially in the soprano parts.

I like Vol. 7 a lot so faróBWV 63 is the best version Iíve heard. This is the one JF-A of Gramophone acclaims in this monthís issue. I canít give an out-and-out recommendation, though, because Iíve only heard half of it...

Bach/Suzuki on the Fast Track

Donald Satz wrote (March 27, 1999):
BIS has already released 10 volumes in Suzuki's traversal of Bach's cantatas. Not content to restrict himself to cantatas, Suzuki recently recorded the Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248). I went into Music Boulevard to order this recording, and I surprisingly found that BIS has just issued Suzuki conducting the St. John Passion (BWV 245). I thought that a few list members might be interested in this new recording.

Bach is recorded with high frequency, but the year 2000 will see an avalanche of new records and re-issues. For Bach lovers, this will represent a bonanza of riches. Have those credit cards ready!

Patrik Enander wrote (March 27, 1999):
The St John Passion got a very good review in Gramophone. I have a couple of the cantata recordings and I enjoyed them quite a lot.

Jonathan Ellis wrote (March 28, 1999):
Donald Satz wrote:
< I went into Music Boulevard to order this recording, and I surprisingly >found that BIS has just issued Suzuki conducting the St. John Passion. >
May I ask Don for his impression of this recording?

Suzuki cantata series

Kirk McElhearn wrote:
So, which complete set should I get to add to my Leonhardt/Harnoncourt? Rilling (cheap), Koopman (more expensive, for now)... What is the current best bet?

Samuel Frederick wrote (December 7, 1999):
(To Kirk McElhearn) Go for the Suzuki volumes!

Kirk McElhearn wrote:
(To Samuel Frederick) Is this to be complete? What price range are they in?

Matthew Westphal wrote (December 7, 1999):
(To Kirk McElhearn) I would recommend the Suzuki as well - it seems to be the most consistently good of the series now underway.

Yes, it to be complete (unless BIS, the label in question, changes its mind), but Suzuki is in no hurry to get through all of the cantatas by the end of 2000 as Koopman and Erato are.

Kirk, I'm not sure what the price point for BIS is in France, but in the US their CD's go for $15-$18 each (depending on the retail outlet).

Ryan Michero wrote (December 7, 1999):
(To Kirk McElhearn) If you are looking for a complete cantata set to complement your Harnoncourt/Leonhardt recordings, I strongly suggest you sample the cantata recordings of Masaaki Suzuki and the Bach Collegium Japan on BIS. I do love many of Herreweghe's cantata recordings, but I must admit that I find Suzuki's cantata recordings even more convincing. His recordings are, in my experience (and I have every volume), invariably good. Suzuki always carefully considers the text of each cantata so that each movement communicates meaning rather than just sounding beautiful. Clear, lovely choral singing, a ravishing period-instrument ensemble (afforded a bit of depth and richness by a slightly reverberant acoustic), and sensitive, intelligent vocal soloists add much to the value of his volumes.

Unfortunately, Suzuki's cantata volumes are in some ways the most expensive way to acquire these works (because of import prices). However, he is moving very slowly through the cantatas, thoroughly researching and rehearsing the works. Hence, a single disc volume comes out every few months, allowing you to get to know each piece well and keeping you from getting bogged down by an avalanche of new music that you can never fully digest. Also, there is a minimum of "catching up" to do--he has only released 11 discs to Koopman's 28 (in 9 volumes).

If you want a single volume recommendation, I would say to get Vol.10. This one was recently picked as Gramophone's recording of the month and features an incredible performance of BWV 105, one of Bach's best cantatas, that is, in my opinion, the best on disc.

If you decide to go with Koopman, you are still in good hands. Koopman was Suzuki's teacher, and their approach is very similar. Suzuki has the edge in my book because he seems more in touch with the spirit of the cantatas; while Koopman's performers may sometimes be more polished and refined, sometimes I feel he is just playing beautiful music and not getting to the heart of these works. Koopman's performances seem better suited to the concert hall than the church--but you may like that better! Personally, I'm collecting both Koopman and Suzuki sets, and I think they're both worthwhile.

Rilling has his supporters on this list, and I do respect his achievement. I'm personally not a fan, though.

Kirk McElhearn wrote (December 8, 1999):
(Regarding BIS prices) They are pretty expensive here...

Suzuki's Cantatas/Mera

Patrik Enander wrote (December 27, 1999):
Ryan wrote an extensive and excellent review of Vol.11. I've a last started to listen to it, I bought it a couple of weeks ago. It is very good. They really play with great feel for the style and they seem to be full of self-confidence! No wonder why considering the reviews.

The alto is new to me and he is good but not very good. I agree with Ryan that he sounds a bit strained, not in Mera's class. Sakurada is excellent as always but Peter Kooy blows me away. Being an amateur baritone in a choir, I can't imagine how he does it. Those long lines with all the, is it called coloratura? (That is what it is called in Swedish, and it is probably a loan from Italian). I would need tubes to breathe in to sing those lines!

I sent a mail to BIS yesterday and the mahimself answered. Robert von Bsaid that Vol.12 will be released in February. I also asked if Mera was lost forever, von Bahr said that he left for a "star-career" but that is perhaps realising that Bach is Bach.

I also suggested the services of Gerard Lesne, to which he did not reply. If you like the male alto voice as I do Cantatas BWV 21 and BWV 42 with Herreweghe is required listening. A 10-minute solo in BWV 42 makes my spine shiver. His voice is not just beautiful but also filled with a lot of energy that makes the music so moving.

Patrik Enander wrote (December 27, 1999):
I got this from BIS when I logged on.
The next CD's with BCJ:
BIS-CD-1031 Johann Sebastian Bach, Cantatas Vol.12 - Cantatas BWV 21 und BWV 147 (Release preliminary February).
BIS-CD-1041 Johann Sebastian Bach, Cantatas Vol.13 - Cantatas BWV 64, BWV 25, BWV 77, BWV 69a.

Donald Satz wrote (December 27, 1999):
I have found the Suzuki series outstanding for musicianship, orchestral support, recorded sound, and conducting. But, I've usually had a problem with the female vocalists used - voices which have, IMHO, insufficient strength and beauty. If Suzuki were to correct this problem, his series would blow Koopman's out of the water.

Matthew Westphal wrote (December 27, 1999):
(Mera) Mera is now evidently trying to become a Japanese pop star. (Has anyone heard his CD's "Romance" and "Precious"?)

(Gerard Lesne) I expect von Bahr is familiar with Gerard Lesne. Lesne directs his own ensemble, Il Seminario Musicale, with which he also sings; he seems to have given up solo work (both opera and concert) with other directors altogether so as to concentrate on Il Seminario Musicale.

I expect Robin Blaze will do some more work for Suzuki; I wouldn't be surprised to see Daniel Taylor or David Walker singing for him as well. I myself wouldn't mind seeing Suzuki try out a female contralto - Lena Susanne Norin would be wonderful, I think.

Patrik Enander wrote (December 28, 1999):
(Gerard Lesne) I know, but dreams are for free.

(Robin Blaze) I've read about Daniel Taylor, but never heard of Walker. Could you recommend anything?

Harry Steinman wrote (December 28, 1999):
(To Donald Satz) Don, I agree.

Before I started collecting the Koopman works, I listened to Suzuki carefully and what decided was that I preferred Suzuki for the orchestration, direction, tempi- everything except the voices. His vocalists just don't match up to Koopman, and since cantatas are all about the voice, well, I ended up collecting Koopman.

Galina Kolomietz wrote (December 28, 1999):
(To Matthew Westphal) *** "Romance" consists mostly of regular Romantic songs, except for three pieces (Lascia ch'io pianga, Ombra mai fu and Greensleeves in a truly atrocious techno-arrangement). Composers are: Mendelssohn, R. Strauss, Gounod, Satie, Dvorak, Grieg & Rachmaninov.

I sort of like the singing (although the overall effect is pretty hollow) - Mera sticks to his girly falsetto and sounds like a decent soprano. But ... I'm not too impressed. Even leaving the issue of interpretation aside, I personally like falsettists who sound more male, with well-integrated registers.

To my ears, Mera sounds either like a girl (then my little mind asks: what's the point?) or else he sounds like a warmed-over Drew Minter. I'm not really being negative - I realise that Mera is head and shoulders above the crowd. It's just that I'm not a fan, but I'm sure he's not missing my vote.

(Gerard Lesne) *** Now, THAT's a MALE alto.

(Lena Susanne Norin would be wonderful, I think) *** Matthew, who planted these ideas in your head?

Matthew Westphal wrote (December 28, 1999):
Oh, I've heard Romance -- I begged my editor at Amazon.com to let me review it as a camp classic. The line I'm dying to use is about the arrangements, which (IMHO) come from the Hello-Kitty school of orchestration.

No comments about the cover photo, Galina? Yoshi in the black coat with the fur collar and cuff... he looks like he's dressing up as Anna Karenina.

I like the singing as well - the sound is good and I hear some very musically nuances amongst all the kitsch. Mera is quite a talent - but it seems that without Bach and Hšndel to keep him centred, his taste becomes... questionable.

A pity. Ah well, if he actually can become a pop superstar in Japan for a few years and make some real money, maybe he can return to Baroque music afterwards and use the cash for some spectacular opera productions (Hšndel's TESEO and ALCINA with fireworks, for example).

(
To my ears, Mera sounds either like a girlÖor else he sounds like a warmed-over Drew Minter) Not that the latter is a bad thing (IMHO)...

(Lena Susanne Norin - Matthew, who planted these ideas in your head?) Forget *my* head - let's get them planted in Suzuki's head!

Marie Jensen wrote (December 28, 1999):
I Got Vol.11 as a Christmas present. I have never heard BWV 46 sung more beautiful than here.

The tenor aria "Ach Schlage doch bald" from BWV 95 was new to me. I find it very fascinating and in a way different from similar "longing for death" arias. It has a cosy atmosphere, like an old-fashioned living room with rocking chair and ticking clocks. Its mood reminds me of 2nd movement of the Vivaldi Winter and again I find an example of Bach's machinery and mechanics fascination. (The perfect Bach machine is the 1. movement of Brandenburg 5, where the solo instruments take walks on their own).

It is so nice and coy, so that one wonders that any one would wish to die... And yet with a short staccato note it all ends...

And now for something completely different:

Patrik wrote:
< A 10-minute solo in BWV 42 makes my spine shiver. His (Lesne's) voice is not just beautiful but also filled with a lot of energy that makes the music so moving. >
O I love it, when somebody mentions my favourite Bach aria with all its rich symbolism. Try it with Julia Hamari in Rilling's version too!

Marten Breuer wrote (January 1, 2000):
I recently read an interview with Suzuki where he said that the co-operation with Mera had to be stopped because in concerts, it had become obvious that Mera had an attitude to the religious meaning of the cantata texts different from all the other soloists. He regretted this fact himself but said there had been no alternative. According to that, I don't expect him to cooperate with Mera again in future. I regret that too but I think, we'll have to accept Suzuki's view.

Ryan Michero wrote (January 5, 2000):
(To Donald Satz) Have you heard Miah Persson on Vol.10 and the Magnificat? I think she's wonderful. I feel the same way you do about Monika Frimmer and, to a lesser degree, Ingrid Schmithsen. I do like Midori Suzuki's boyish voice, though. Question: Do you prefer Koopman's female soloists to Suzuki's? I don't.

Donald Satz wrote (January 5, 1999):
I have Vol. 10 and the Magnificat recording. Unfortunately, I don't share Ryan's opinion of her singing. I found her relatively slight in voice and not very appealing. Overall, I do prefer the Koopman female soloists, as long as he continues to do without Barbara Schlick. I think she was on the first two or three Koopman volumes, and I really detest her voice, which sounds to me like a delicate glass ready to break. What kind of voice do I like? Sandrine Piu (soprano?) is my ideal.

Suzuki - the best interpreter of Bach?

Donald Satz wrote:
I'm coming around to the opinion that Suzuki is the best interpreter of Bach sacred choral works on period instruments.

Matthew Westphal wrote (February 3, 2000):
I can certainly understand that sentiment. I'd say that Suzuki is (or is getting to be) the best current interpreter in his format (that is, chamber choir with period instruments) of Bach's sacred music.

I'm not at all sure I'd put Suzuki ahead of McCreesh, Parrott, Junghšnel, Jeffrey Thomas (as conductor, not singer) and the courageous Joshua Rifkin. But then not everyonecares for one-singer-per-part Bach as much as I do; in any case, compare that format with the Suzuki/Koopman/Herreweghe format is like comparing -- well, if not apples and oranges, then lemons and limes, or Macintosh and Granny Smith apples.

Donald Satz wrote (February 4, 2000):
I have a particularly warm feeling for Rifkin's Bach cantata recordings on Decca - among the best I have heard. The "one-part" aspect is certainly viable from a historical and musical perspective.

Bach Cantatas

Max Erlandsson wrote (March 15, 2000):
Hi, there sale on Bach cantatas (BIS - Suzuki) but since there are so many of them I don't know which ones to buy. Which cantatas are considered really good music, to start with?

Sorry, about the lousy language. I edited too much without checking before sending...

Allen Tyler wrote (March 15, 2000):
(To Max Erlandsson) I have never heard a Bach cantata that I didn't like. I don't think you would go wrong if you just chose blindfolded. Some of the old standbys include BWV 4, 21, 79, 80, 104, 140, 147. But please--Where is this sale?

BCJ Official Homepage/The Suzuki family

Marten Breuer wrote (April 1, 2000):
Important news to all fans of Masaaki Suzuki: Since April 1, there is an official homepage of the Bach Collegium Japan! Here's the new address: http://www.bach.co.jp/

Harry Steinman wrote (April 2, 2000):
REALLY dumb question department: Is Suzuki a common name in Japan, or are the 3 Suzukis in the BCJ related?

Ryan Michero wrote (April 2, 2000):
Thanks for the info, Marten! How did you find out about it? A web search?

Has anyone been able to look at it? Perhaps nothing except the front page is up yet? I tried to click on the "English" link and it gave me a weird error message. Or maybe it's just a cruel April Fools Day joke?

Cool front page though: A picture of Suzuki making a very impressive, "conductorly" gesture.

Ryan Michero wrote (April 2, 2000):
They're all related and they all carpool in their Suzuki Samurai.

Just kidding. It's not such a dumb question, Harry. I think anyone would be naturally curious if three people in the same group had the same name. Your theory holds up for the Kuijken and Hantai brothers! I'd only be worried if you thought Franz Brggen and Marion Verbrggen were related...

Suzuki is a common name, and Midori, Masaaki, and Hidemi are not related (at least I know Midori and Masaaki are not; I assume there's no Hidemi connection between them...).

Ah, but Harry, it's the TRICKY ones you have to look out for--the ones that ARE related but have DIFFERENT last names! Like John Eliot Gardiner and Elizabeth Wilcock, and Andrew Parrott and Emily van Evera, both HIPpily married couples!

Harry J. Steinman wrote (April 2, 2000):
I accessed it successfully. Neat page. Info about the performers, schedule (concretising in Japan, Spain, Nigeria, and Australia...guess Boston has to wait.

Kirk McElhearn wrote (April 2, 2000):
Suzuki is a very common name, but remember, it is his family name.

For some odd reason, they have turned his name around - in Japan, the family name comes first. He is Suzuki Masaki. BTW, Masaki is also a fairly common name as well.

Aya Itoi wrote (April 2, 2000):
As a fellow Japanese list member - and also because I know Ehud Shiloni hasn't seen postings this weekend (Israeli weekends are Friday and Saturday) - I feel compelled to answer.

Masaaki Suzuki is the older brother of Hidemi, the cellist. And Midori Suzuki is the wife of Hidemi. So actually - they are all related. But, as Ryan said - Suzuki is a very common name here, I wouldn't be surprised at all if another Suzuki joined BCJ who is not a relation.

Why did I mention Ehud? Because - I myself didn't know a year ago and he is the one who told me about the BCJ Suzukis.

Another note about BCJ: they are performing four SMJ in the next few weeks (on 4/21 in Tokyo) and - tickets for their Kobe (their home ground) and Tokyo concerts are sold out, with only a few left for the remaining two.

Ryan Michero wrote (April 2, 2000):
Oops! Funny, I read a review of one of the BCJ CD's that stressed that Masaaki and Midori were not related. Or maybe I remember it wrong? If the reviewer said that, I guess he was right in a way, because they aren't directly related.

But I've never heard anyone mention the Hidemi/Masaaki connection! I guess that's what I get for assuming things.

Well, I guess the Suzukis are quite a musically talented family. Reminds me of a certain German musical family...

(Another note about BCJ: they are performing four SMJ in the next few weeks) Wish I could be there! Are you going Aya?

Suzuki Leipzig Concert / Suzuki Secular Cantatas

Marten Breuer wrote (December 4, 2000):
Piotr Jaworski wrote:
< Suzuki circle is still too small on this list. >
I just wanted to let you know that the Suzuki circle consists of more than two people. Many thanks to Don who wrote an excellent review. I don't possess Vol.13 yet, but what you wrote sounded very promising.

As for the soloists, I hope that Gerd Trk will continue to cooperate with Suzuki although he is now teaching at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis and, as he told me, will have less time for trips to Japan. My second hope is that maybe Suzuki will make a recording of solo cantatas for alto with Andreas Scholl. When you look at the BCJ's homepage (http://www.bach.co.jp/), you will find that on 20 December, Scholl will give a concert in Japan - so maybe they are going to record the whole?!

Lastly: If anybody of you is interested in a live-record of this year's concert by BCJ in Leipzig containing BWV 201 and BWV 206, just let me know. (snip)

Matthew Westphal wrote (December 4, 2000):
Marten wrote:
< Lastly: If anybody of you is interested in a live-record of this year's concert by BCJ in Leipzig containing BWV 201 and 206, just let me know, I could send you a copy! >
Sounds interesting! What are the details? (Soloists, etc.)

Marten Breuer wrote (December 4, 2000):
(To Matthew Westphal) The concert was part of the Bachfest Leipzig 2000 and I happened to record the radio broadcast on cassette. In BWV 201, the soloists are as follows:
Momus: Midori Suzuki, soprano
Mercurius: Robin Blaze, Counter-tenor
Tmolus: James Gilchrist, tenor
Midas: Gerd Trk, tenor
Phoebus: Chiyuki Urano, bass
Pan: Victor Torres, bass.

In BWV 206, the soloists are:
Pleisse: Yuraki Nonoshita, soprano
Donau: Mutsumi Hatano, alto
Elbe: Gerd Trk, tenor
Weichsel: Victor Torres, bass.

Piotr Jaworski wrote (December 4, 2000):
(To Marten Breuer) No!? Really? And you're 100% serious? Do you see my both hands up? Put me on the list, please, ... we will see how big the circle really is. What do you need Marten as a "sweet revenge"?

Matthew Westphal wrote (December 4, 2000):
(To Marten Breuer) Sounds interesting, Marten. Was a chorus used? (OVPP is generally more common today in secular cantatas.)

Marten Breuer wrote (December 5, 2000):
(To Matthew Westphal) Suzuki used a chorus consisting of - if I remember correctly - 12 persons (the soloists included).

Tonight / Suzuki in Europe / Tonight - soloists / Suzuki - German pronunciation

Muramatsu Masaaki wrote (December 12, 2000):
Tonight, I'm joining the concert of B-moll Mass (BWV 232), by Suzuki and BCJ in Suntory Hall, Tokyo. This is the first time I hear Suzuki in live. You can't imagine how excited I am. I will get back to you with my impression on the performance.

Armagan Ekici wrote (December 13, 2000):
(To Muramatsu Masaaki) Well, I am very jealous. When will Suzuki tour Europe? As for the B-moll mass, difficult tonality, you know, all those flats. I wonder whether it has any resemblance to the H-moll Messe :o)

Marten Breuer wrote (December 13, 2000):
< Well, I am very jealous. When will Suzuki tour Europe? >
There's an announcement for October/November 2001
(see http://www.bach.co.jp/english_page_top.htm under 'future projects').

Piotr Jaworski wrote (December14, 2000):
(To Marten Breuer) Since the BCJ will probably tour only so-called Western Europe. The most important message from their web site is about forthcoming releases:
CAN YOU IMAGINE???
"Complete Brandenburg Concertos" in February 2001
next - 14th - volume of cantatas in April, supported by Monteverdi's 'Vespro'
What a season!

Marten Breuer wrote (December 13, 2000):
(To Muramatsu Masaaki) I would be particularly curious to know who the soloists were. Hope you enjoyed the concert!

Stephanie Triska wrote (December 13, 2000):
(To Marten Breuer) I'm neither Masa-aki nor an active, contributing member of this list (but enjoy to lurk) so I hope none of you do mind if I jump in here. The soloists are, as far as I know: Midori Suzuki and Yukari Nonoshita (sopranos), Andreas Scholl (counter-tenor), Gerd Trk (tenor), Peter Kooij (bass). I'm looking forward to the review. Greetings from Stuttgart to Wrzburg,

YoŽl L. Arbeitman wrote (December 13, 2000):
Stephanie's post gives me an opportunity to ask a linguistic question that I have had in mind since I first heard all the raves about the Suzuki recordings and performances on this list.

Here I refer of course to the two sopranos. Do the Japanese singers sing the German idiomatically and understandably?

This is NOT a racist question. It is simply a linguistic fact that many singers of other languages sing German (or French or Italian) so inadequately as to give one pause.

It is not racist either to think all the more that such a problem might exist for speakers of Japanese IF they are not totally linguistically talented.

P.S.: Any of 5+ languages I could moderately speak at one time, I spoke with an awful accent.

Stephanie Triska wrote (December 14, 2000):
YoŽl asked about the German diction of Japanese singers:

I can't comment on the sopranos, but as far as the Japanese countertenor Yoshikazu Mera and the tenor Makoto Sakurada are concerned, I can say that their German diction is superb, with only the slightest of accents sometimes. In comparison to some of the English-speaking singers (well, especially on some earlier recordings I have - it has changed a lot in the last years), their accent is far more audible.

Marten Breuer wrote (December 14, 2000):
I totally agree with what Stephanie wrote. However, I would make a distinction between the chorus and the soloists.

The chorus, for the most part, is nearly perfect in German idiom. What I find most remarkable - and has been mentioned in several German reviews as well - is that on Suzuki's recordings, the chorus is better understandable than e.g. on Koopman's. I don't know if it's only a question of pronunciation or perhaps also a question of the recording equipment. There's only one point where the chorus' pronunciation is regrettably not perfect: At the beginning of the Xmas Oratorio where they sing 'Jauchsset' instead of 'Jauchtzet'.

As for the soloists, notably Robin Blaze has - to my ears - quite a strong British accent. The Japanese soloists, in contrast, pronounce far more idiomatically, as Stephanie wrote. I personally think that the sopranos are even better in German idiom than Mera and Sakurada.

Yet another point: On the Magnificat-recording, BCJ pronounce the Latin text according to the German tradition and not according to the Italian language as most international choruses do.

John Downes wrote (December 14, 2000):
This is off topic.
But I was in Lneburg last week to catch the final concert (in Europe) of JEG's pilgrimage and in a restaurant I ordered a sandwich and a beer in what I thought to be perfect German pronunciation.

And the blasted waiter replied in perfect English! Bummer or what?

YoŽl L. Arbeitman wrote (December 15, 2000):
(To John Downes) There is only one way to handle such a situation and it depends on a fact you do not specify, to wit whether he was a native speaker of English or not.

If he was responding in English because he just wanted to one-up you and he was indeed native German, then you must in such an opportunity pretend completely not to speak English.

Claim that your native language is Icelandic or something that he is most unlikely to speak. Then he will have to speak with you in German.

I made that a policy in whatever country and language I was in during two years in non-English Europe. I wanted to speak their languages, not have them be able to practice on me.

YoŽl L. Arbeitman wrote (December 15, 2000):
I thank both Stephanie and Marten for the useful information.
Good listening and thanks again.

Continue to Part 2

Masaaki Suzuki: Short Biography | Bach Collegoim Japan
Recordings of Vocal Works:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Recordings of Instrumental Works
General Discussions:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4
Cantatas:
Suzuki - Vol. 2 | Suzuki - Vol. 5 | Suzuki - Vol. 8 | Suzuki - Vol. 9 | Suzuki - Vol. 10 | Suzuki - Vol. 11 | Suzuki - Vol. 12 | Suzuki - Vol. 13 | Suzuki - Vol. 14 | Suzuki - Vol. 15 | Suzuki - Vol. 16 | Suzuki - Vol. 17 | Suzuki - Vol. 18 | Suzuki - Vol. 19 | Suzuki - Vol. 20 | Suzuki - Vol. 21 | Suzuki - Vol. 22 | Suzuki - Vol. 23 | Suzuki - Vol. 24 | Suzuki - Vol. 25 | Suzuki - Vol. 26 | Suzuki - Vol.. 27 | Suzuki - Vol. 28 | Suzuki - Vol. 29 | Suzuki - Vol. 30 | Suzuki - Vol. 31 | Suzuki - Vol. 38 | Suzuki Secular - Vol. 1
Other Vocal Works:
BWV 232 - M. Suzuki | BWV 243 - M. Suzuki | BWV 244 - M. Suzuki | BWV 245 - M. Suzuki | BWV 248 - M. Suzuki
Reviews of Instrumental Recordings:
Bachís Clavier-Ubung III from Masaaki Suzuki | Bach Harpsichord Discs from Hill and Suzuki | Bachís French Suites from Suzuki | Review: Partitas by Suzuki [McElhearn] | Suzukiís Partitas [Henderson] | Suzukiís Goldberg Variations
Discussions of Instrumental Recordings:
Partitas BWV 825-830 - played by M. Suzuki
Table of recordings by BWV Number

Conductors of Vocal Works: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | Singers & Instrumentalists

Introduction | Cantatas | Other Vocal | Instrumental | Performers | General Topics | Articles | Books | Movies | New
Biographies | Texts & Translations | Scores | References | Commentaries | Music | Concerts | Festivals | Tour | Art & Memorabilia
Chorale Texts | Chorale Melodies | Lutheran Church Year | Readings | Poets & Composers | Arrangements & Transcriptions
Search Website | Search Works/Movements | Terms & Abbreviations | Copyright | How to contribute | Sitemap | Links



 

Back to the Top


Last update: żOctober 26, 2008 ż10:59:53