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

Jos van Veldhoven & Nederlandse Bachvereniging
Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works
General Discussions

Netherlands Bach Society goes OVPP - sort of

Johan van Veen wrote (January 3, 2004):
According to a report in a Dutch newspaper the Netherlands Bach Society is going to dismantle its choir as well as the small vocal and instrumental ensemble 'Cappella Figuralis', which was mainly used for performances of music of the 17th century. The baroque orchestra will also be reduced to a core of four strings with additional winds and basso continuo.

The conductor Jos van Veldhoven has come to the conclusion that, considering the research by Rifkin and others, there is no justification anymore to perform Bach's sacred music with a choir of 16 or 20 singers. This year's performance of the SMP (BWV 244) will take place in the 'old style', with the choir and baroque orchestra of the Bach Society. But next season (2005-06) performances of Bach's vocal music will take place with four singers in the solo parts and 4 additional 'ripienists' in the tutti.

A new recording of Bach's SJP (BWV 245) has already been released, performed this way. It is a reconstruction of the very first version, by the musicologist Pieter Dirksen.

Since there is an embargo on this recording until the end of January, I shall return to that next month.

Doug Cowling wrote (January 3, 2004):
Johan van Veen wrote:
< This year's performance of the SMP (BWV 244) will take place in the 'old style', with the choir and baroque orchestra of the Bach Society. But next season (2005-06) performances of Bach's vocal music will take place with four singers in the solo parts and 4 additional 'ripienists' in the tutti. >
But the SMP (BWV 244) calls for 8 singers, four for each "Coro" and an unspecified number for the ripieno choir.

Has anyone ever heard an OVPP performance in which there were the requisite eight soloists and the Evangelist also sang the Coro I Tenor?

Uri Golomb wrote (January 3, 2004):
Doug Cowling asked:
< Has anyone ever heard an OVPP performance in which there were the requisite eight soloists and the Evangelist also sang the Coro I Tenor? >
Yes, I did -- the McCreesh performance in London, which was part of a tour that culminated in his recording of the work. In the concert, he employed only eight singers, and the chroale in the opening chorus was played on the organ and not sung at all; in the recording, he employed one additional singer as soprano-in-ripieno. For my review of that concert, see: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/SMP-Golomb.htm -- the second of the two
McCreesh SMPs I reviewed indeed featured the Coro I tenor as Evangelist, and the
Coro I bass as Christus.

I'm not as enthusiastic about the recording as I had been about the concert, though I did enjoy the recording as well (I know that others -- notably Johan -- have a different view).

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (January 3, 2004):
Johan van Veen wrote:
< A new recording of Bach's SJP (BWV 245) has already been released, performed this way. It is a reconstruction of the very first version, by the musicologist Pieter Dirksen.
Since there is an embargo on this recording until the end of January, I shall return to that next month. >
Several years ago I attended a performance of the Johannes-Passion (BWV 245) at Princeton University (I have the program somewhere and I believe I posted at the time) with 8 singers; they were the choir and from their number came both evangelist and soloists (the alt arias were divided amongst two soloists). I recall the alt division in the solo arias bc. the one who sang Es ist vollbracht was simply awful while the other singer would have been a far better choice. It had all the potential for a great performance but the Es ist vollbracht ruined it totally for me and I left in great disappointment. I do not listen to Bach for theory but for the greatness of the music and I certainly do not listen to Bach for theology.

Yoel who listened to 3 of the four cantatas on the H-L disk with #150 yesterday and has little to say except that they are smashing.

Doug Cowling wrote (January 3, 2004):
Uri Golomb wrote:
< Yes, I did -- the McCreesh performance in London, which was part of a tour that culminated in his recording of the work. In the concert, he employed only eight singers, and the chroale in the opening chorus was played on the organ and not sung at all; in the recording, he employed one additional singer as soprano-in-ripieno.
For my review of that concert, see:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/SMP-Golomb.htm -- the second of the two McCreesh SMPs I reviewed indeed featured the Coro I tenor as Evangelist, and the Coro I bass as Christus. >
I'm curious to know how the Coro I handled the enormous load of the recitative and the arias. There are not many soloists I would want to hear take on that Herculean task.

Johan van Veen wrote (January 3, 2004):
[To Yoël L. Arbeitman]
An OVPP performance means that all singers have to be equally able to sing solo as to sing as part of an ensemble.

The decision by the Netherlands Bach Society understandably met some resistance, and also caused strong disappointment among members of the choir, who are not good enough to sing solo parts, and therefore won't have many opportunities to sing Bach at the highest level as they have done over the years.

I am not sure how easy it will be to find singers who are 'solo material' and are also able - and willing - to sing in the choruses and chorales. A special matter of attention will be the blending of the voices, which isn't easy if singers are not used to sing with each other on a regular basis (like in Cantus Cölln, for instance).

 

Jos van Veldhoven: Short Biography | Nederlandse Bachvereniging | Recordings of Vocal Works | General Discussions | Nederlandse Bachvereniging: All of Bach
Individual Recordings:
BWV 232 - J.v. Veldhoven | BWV 244 - J.v. Veldhoven | | BWV 245 - J.v. Veldhoven | BWV 248 - J.v. Veldhoven

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: řApril 15, 2014 ř10:00:26