wrote (March 7, 2006):
First the positive things about vol 30. Its fantastic to hear Carolyn Sampson, almost universally hailed as one of the new great baroque sopranos in the pyrotechnics of BWV 51. Others will give a proper crit. about the performance, but to my ears it does all the right things from the first bar. Its complex music performed with simple elegance and the right amount of mounting ecstasy in the final movement. The high notes are hit fair and square without rupturing the ear-drum!
And then 48 minutes of BWV 1127. I had my first encounter with this on the motorway from Manchester to Birmingham - and by the 5th verse i knew the melody humming along and was wondering when the thing would come to an end. Of course that was only the first 16 minutes. By verse 9. I was a bit bored with the sheer sameness of it all. And by verse 12 it was like a piece of American minimialism - I could hardy bare to part from it at the end of it - it was mesmeric! There was almost a temptation to start at the beginning again. The melody has been whistled, hummed and dreamt about at night time - its a bit like one of those well-aimed Disney melodies, or a particularly insiduous hymn tune that's in your mind for days! I think Ill get a copy of the CD in church. It will be ideal for flower festivals and open days and as I'm doing chores about the place. I'm afraid I'm talking of it as easy listening background music - oh dear. I've spent some time reading the detailed account of the discovery of the piece and the acrostic in the text, the symbolism of the 52 notes etc. All very interesting stuff, but is it really great Bach?But its beautifully performed on this CD.