Masaaki Suzuki and Bach Collegium JapanÂ âteamMIURA
Organist, harpsichordist, and conductor Masaaki Suzuki and his Bach Collegium Japan ensemble are set to finish recording the complete choral works of Johann Sebastian Bach.
It will be the first time for Bachâs complete choral worksâover 220 worksâto be recorded by a single group.
The concert will take place at the Kobe Shoin Womenâs University Chapel on July 15th (Hankyu Kobe Line, Rokko Station), and at the Tokyo Opera City on July 17th (Keio New Line, Hatsudai Station).
British SopranoÂ Carolyn Sampson performs on July 15th and 17th âMarco BorggreveÂ
A performance of two secular cantatas colored with a beautiful melody, âAir on a G Stringâ from Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major (BWV 1068), will celebrate and complete the 22-year journey.
Suzuki is a graduate of the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, and the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam, where he researched the composerâs performance methods and the use of instruments in the early music era. In 1990, he founded Bach Collegium Japan (BCJ), a baroque orchestra and chorus.
From 1995 to 2013, Suzuki performed and recorded all of Bachâs cantatas for church music worship. In addition to recording 195 works on 55 CDs, he has put on energetic performances, received numerous awards, and high praise worldwide.
âBachâs music is intellectual. It goes beyond what notes are written in the score, and has hidden symbolism within. You can learn from various perspectives. Although it is necessary to carefully examine the meaning of lyrics one by one, and how to respond to live music speaking to you, however I think itâs most vital to express naturally whatâs coming from inside yourself,â Suzuki said.
He added: âBach composed church worship music for the feudal lord’s birthdaysÂ and other celebratory occasions, as a professional musician he emphasized the functionality of music in his actual life. Taking full advantage of his broad expressiveness, he created a rich sound while inventing highly artistic works that resonated beyond the times.â
Recently, Suzuki and BCJ held excellent performances of Bachâs grand masterpiecesâsuch as âSt. Matthew Passionâ (BWV 244) and âMass in B Minor KyrieâGloria Massesâ (BWV 232â242)âinternationally and domestically. Furthermore, performance and recording of all the secular cantata works intended for church music worship that were not composed will be developed.
The July 15th and 17th concerts will close the epic feat of performing and recording the complete Bach choral works, something that has never been accomplished by a single ensemble before. To be performed for the special occasion are the melodious âIch bin in mir Vergnuegtâ (I am content in myself) from BWV 204 sung by a soprano, and âAngenehmes Wiederau, freue dich in deinen Auen!â (Pleasant Wiederau, rejoice in your meadows!) by 4 soloists, a cantata with four characters: Time, Good Fortune, Elster River, and Fate.
âThe intent for the mysterious cantata BWV 204 is unknownâan extremely exceptional work. The scriptures and Christian values were not exclusively incorporated in the lyrics; however, universal human morals and ethics were written within the music,â Suzuki said. âBWV30a showcases a dramatic contrasting world. Not only inside the church, but it is impressive to show every scene of human life is equally important.â
(Click here to read the original article in Japanese)