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J S Bach Motets

Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, BWV 225
F├╝rchte dich nicht, ich bin bei dir, BWV 228
Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden, BWV 230
Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227
Komm, Jesu, komm!, BWV 229
Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf, BWV 226

Voces8 & Senesino Players

Signum 213

An interesting production of through-composed choruses of great vitality (no recitatives). One-to-a-part and discreet instrumental accompaniment is to (some) modern taste. Youthful singing, the sopranos not quite of world class and German diction indistinct. This will not top the competition, but is is enjoyable and recommendable.

They perform them as a set (not too unusual, that) to "- - epitomise Bach's commitment to the Lutheran faith. Not sure that is why people still like listening to e.g. "Praise the Lord, all the heathens"... I guess it is just the music, which reamins fresh and popular.

The production is interesting; a fold-out sheet with all the words and translations, line by line, avoiding problems of pagination. The huge blow up picture of the eight "outfitted by TMLewin" (for putting on your wall, it is suggested) is slightly out of focus and no great advertisement for them; better the cover photo of them walking.

Recommended for Christmas as a concise alternative to Messiah and the Christmas Oratorio.

Peter Grahame Woolf

None of the big names have produced anything that is quite as much fun - - crisp and accurate, but the tempos are often fast and unyielding. The polyphonic movements are sung with a ping to the accents of each note. - - a Swingle Singers type of group, and their Bach is designed to highlight their vocal agility and the precision of their close harmony textures - - no movement divisions within the motets, and each occupies a single track - you can easily go elsewhere if you want to hear a more traditional reading of this music - but what this one offers is fun - - it brings an interesting new angle to the music, and possibly a new audience too. [MusicWeb International]